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Class 1% X : -&M 5 

Bnnk >C S B Kg) 




Success Hammered Out 
of the Rock 


Member North Indiana Conference Methodist 
Episcopal Church, U. S. A. 

Printed for the Author by Jennings & Pye 


Two Copies Receiver* 

MAR 19 '903 


\ Copyright fcntfy 

CLASS Ou xXc. No 


Copyright, 1901, by 
George Cocking 


This volume is not intended to be the author's 
autobiography, since it is only fragmentary 
in its character; but more especially is it writ- 
ten for the encouragement of the unfortunate 
ones who, like himself, on account of poverty 
or the bad management of parents, or lack of 
judgment on their part, were deprived of an 
early education. The author believes that the 
greatest incentive for this class, which un- 
fortunately is very large, is for them to know 
what others have done. 

While the book gives a brief sketch of a 
young miner struggling for success, it also 
affords an insight into the great industry of 
mining, both in England and America, to- 
gether with the many dangers incident to this 
hazardous calling. With the hope that many 
of the unfortunate may be encouraged and 
stimulated to loftier purposes and nobler deeds 
by reading these pages, this work is sent forth. 



The dangers and hardships portrayed in this 
volume are equally applicable to the coal 
miners the world over, and to which must be 
added the terrible danger of explosion by gas, 
which has been the cause of thousands of 
deaths among this class. G. C. 


Chapter Page 

I. Early Life, 13 

II. In the Tin Mines of Cornwall, - 28 

III. Dangers of Mining, 42 

IV. Leaving Home, 64 

V. On the Ocean, 73 

VI. In A Strange Land, - 88 

VII. In the Gold Mines of Colorado, - - 98 

VIII. In the Rocky Mountains, - - - 114 

IX. Above the Clouds, 127 

X. Hammering, 141 

XI. Tried and Found Wanting, - - - 154 

XII. "Struck it Rich" at Last, - - 161 

XIII. On Trial, . = . = = . 166 

XIV. In the Pulpit, - 174 


In the couplet, 

" lives of great men all remind us 
We can make our lives sublime," 

it will be seen that the emphasis must be on 
the words "can make" as the source, genius, 
and power to produce the man. The making 
is ours. Whatever else success may mean, it 
must include a mastery of self. To know one's 
weaknesses and possible strength is supremely 
important. Then, to be able to guide against 
natural inclinations, or acquired habits, or so- 
called hereditary tendencies, will mean, in a 
measure, the power to move effectually towards 
the desired goal. 

Many a young man finds himself, at eighteen 
or twenty, in the midst of discouragements. 
He feels his deficiencies. He is at a loss to 
know what to do. Few there are who con- 
cern themselves with his situation. He looks 
about him in vain. No one is near to aid. He 



is the outcome of circumstances over which he 
has no control. He is conscious now of the 
situation, yet in his heart is a desire to better 
his condition and his life for the future. How 
is it to be done? This is the burden of the 
present volume, not to give direction in so 
many words, but to inspire through the life 
struggles herein portrayed. If one can suc- 
ceed, why not another? The writer of this 
book was without hope in the world. No ray 
of light for years revealed to him any dawn 
of better days. I knew him as a young man 
mining silver and gold in the mines of Colo- 
rado. He tells of his anxiety and toil for 
promotion. He tells of defeat as preliminary 
to final victory. He felt the call of a larger 

Not all can be ministers; but the world is 
not limited to preachers. The outreach for 
advancement must be through a due apprecia- 
tion of the fact that the real secret lies within. 

Our brother does not write this volume as 
a means of self-praise, but because of his in- 
tense yearning to stimulate some who need 



just this lesson of a real life. This book will 
seek to unfold, in the unfolding of a single life, 
the true secret of attainment. May its pages 
delight and quicken many a young life ; for, as 
Longfellow says: 

All possibilities are in its hands, 

No danger daunts it, and no foe withstands; 

In its sublime audacity of faith, 

"Be thou removed!" it to the mountain saith, 

And with ambition's feet, secure and proud 

Ascends the ladder leaning on the cloud. 

A. L. T. EwerTo 

Jacksonville, Iu,., 
November 26, 1902. 

From the Mines to the Pulpit 



When the rough battle of the day is done, 

And evening's peace falls gently on the heart, 

I bound away, across the noisy years, 

Unto the utmost verge of memory's land, 

Where earth and sky in dreamy distance meet, 

And memory dim with dark oblivion joins ; 

Where woke the first remembered sounds that fell 

Upon the ear in childhood's early morn ; 

And, wandering thence along the rolling years, 

I see the shadow of my former sell 

Gliding from childhood up to man's estate. 

J. A. Garfield. 

After forty years' battling with the world, 
ofttimes with the odds tremendously against 
me, having reached the point where I can 
look back upon many years of hard toil, now 
crowned with success, perhaps I am in a 
position and may assume the responsible task 
of giving a little inspiration and encourage- 
ment to the young people of to-day. I was 
born amidst the tin mines of Cornwall, Eng- 
land, on the 8th day of September, 1862. Red- 
ruth, the quaint old town of my birth and home 

14 From Mines to Pulpit 

of my childhood, is situated on the northern 
coast of Cornwall, about three miles inland. 
My ancestors were of English descent, and, 
as far back as can be traced, have lived and 
died in their native land. As soon as I was 
old enough to discern things, I discovered 
there were three other children who had as 
much right in the home as myself ; two others 
came later, making six in all, four girls and 
two boys. 

Our home was like the many other homes 
in the mining district. Not much expensive 
furniture nor many soft carpets were found 
in them, yet everything was kept scrupulously 
clean. One room set apart as a sitting-room, 
also served for the library, as it contained all 
the books owned by the family neatly arranged 
on the shelves or on the center-table. It was 
the delight of our dear mother to gather the 
children together and spend the long winter 
evenings in the cozy sitting-room; and even 
now, a generation later, I can fancy myself 
back in the little room, watching the fire as it 
burned in the grate, and listening to the wind 
as it used to blow a hurricane along the coast, 
lashing the sea to foam. My father was not 
often permitted to spend an evening with the 
family, his position as night foreman keeping 

Early Life 


him at the mine from six in the evening until 
seven the next morning. Thus the entire re- 
sponsibility of looking after and entertaining 
the children after school hours fell upon 

Those days of childhood were certainly the 
happiest of my life. Being blessed with robust 
health, living amidst inspiring scenery, with 
a sufficient supply of food and clothing, if not 
the luxuries of life, I found happiness every- 
where — in the garden, in the fields, in the 
woods, and by the sea. I loved to roam alone 
through the moors and woods and revel in the 
beauties of nature, and to wander down to the 
cliffs and sit for hours watching the vessels 
as they came and went with their precious 
cargoes. Even now it sends a vigorous thrill 
through my veins when I remember how we 
used to plunge into the strong embrace of the 
briny ocean and allow ourselves to be thrown 
about on the crest of the waves; and great 
was our disappointment when, because of the 
madness of the sea, as we used to call it, the 
wind would roll the billows mountain high, 
and we were deprived of the accustomed 

A beautiful sight is old ocean when the gar- 
ment of peace is spread on its surface and the 

1 6 From Mines to Pulpit 

silver-tipped waves roll lazily up the shore; 
but when the waves are lashed by the fury of 
the storm, and huge vessels are being tossed 
like feathers on the boiling surf, the sight is 
terrible. Many stanch vessels have met their 
doom on the rock-bound coast of Cornwall, 
and many brave sailors have yielded up their 
lives in the vain attempt to bring the ship 
to shore. Along the coast in the quiet grave- 
yard the traveler reads the familiar epitaph, 
"Unknown," which marks the spot where lies 
the form of some heroic toiler of the sea. 
"God protect the sailors to-night !" is the 
prayer which comes from thousands of hearts 
when the roaring of the hurricane, mingled 
with the booming of the waves as they break 
upon the shore, reach the ear. 

One of these awful storms, which sent many 
noble vessels and stout-hearted sailors to their 
doom, comes vividly to my mind. Above the 
roar and fury of the storm was heard the dis- 
tant booming of a cannon, which was the sig- 
nal of a vessel in distress. Hurriedly the peo- 
ple rushed to the beach. Again the boom of 
the cannon came out of the hurricane, which 
meant to those standing on the shore a dying 
cry for help. 

"See ! there she goes !" cried the captain of 

Early Life 


the life-saving boat crew, as the fire from the 
cannon's mouth lighted up the black heavens 
and at the same time revealed the position of 
the doomed vessel. 

"Man the life-boat !" cried a voice. 

"Impossible !" answered the captain. "No 
boat can keep afloat in such a sea !" 

The next flash from the cannon was nearer, 
showing that the vessel was slowly drifting to 
its doom. The inability of the people on the 
shore to assist added to the horribleness of the 
fate which now seemed certain for the crew. 
They could do nothing but pray, and watch the 
angry sea as in its fury like a toy it tossed 
the helpless vessel. The black hull, plainly 
visible from the shore, now rode the crest of 
the billows, the next instant sank into the 
trough of the sea. Soon it would be dashed 
to pieces on the cruel rocks, or lie, a stranded 
wreck, upon the beach. If dashed to pieces, 
the sailors would perish in the boiling surf; 
if stranded, all lives would be saved. 

"They will be saved!" exclaimed the cap- 
tain, as he saw the vessel, like a struggling 
demon, rise from the trough of the sea only 
a few leagues from shore, and being driven by 
the fury of the storm toward the beach. Old 
men wept like children. Shouts of joy were 

1 8 From Mines to Pulpit 

plainly heard above the roar of the tempest, 
They had not long to wait, for, rising once 
more out of the sea, the vessel, mounting the 
summit of a huge wave, was suddenly, as if 
by the force of a thousand giants, hurled upon 
the beach, a stranded wreck, far from the reach 
of the maddened sea. Again shouts of joy 
were heard above the din of storm and crash 
of timbers, while willing hands tenderly cared 
for the rescued ones as they were lowered 
down the slippery sides of the stranded hull. 
It was a wonderful deliverance from a watery 
grave. But alas for the noble vessel! She 
lay on the beach like a thing of life wounded 
unto death. No more would she proudly plow 
the seas; never again receive the "Godspeed 
you/' when leaving the port, nor the "Welcome 
home/' when the stormy voyage was over. 

Although only a boy, I shall never forget 
the feeling of sadness which overshadowed me 
as I viewed the wreck. The sea was calm, and 
looked as innocent as a mill-pond; the fishing 
smacks danced merrily upon its surface. It 
seemed impossible that only a few hours be- 
fore it was lashing in its fury to a seething 
foam, and bidding defiance to the approach of 
man ; but such is the way of old ocean, and "in 

Early Life 


time of calm prepare for storm" has long since 
become a saying with seafaring men. 

But what became of the wreck? Like all 
others thrown upon the shore, when no longer 
fit for the sea, it was sold to the highest bid- 
der. In this case it went to a mining com- 
pany, who used the massive timbers for min- 
ing purposes. Years after I came across some 
of these timbers down in the dark caverns of 
the mine. Again a feeling of sadness came 
over me when I remembered how these solid 
oak timbers used to ride proudly the waves, but 
were now consigned to a pit of eternal dark- 
ness. This incident is also a true picture of the 
many wrecked lives which once proudly sailed 
the sea of life bound for the port of success, 
but now stranded on the shores of defeat 
and death. Many noble vessels have been 
saved from destruction through the skill, tact, 
and heroic efforts of the mariner who, in times 
of calm, prepared for storm, while many have 
become stranded wrecks through willful neg- 
lect ; likewise, many lives have been saved from 
defeat and shame, while others have been 
wrecked for time and eternity. 

These solemn lessons were early impressed 
upon our young hearts by our sainted mother, 

20 From Mines to Pulpit 

whose greatest aim was to train up her chil- 
dren in the fear of the Lord, and to lay in our 
young hearts the foundation of truth and vir- 
tue upon which we could build in future years. 
In this she was successful, for God permitted 
her to live to see her children become men and 
women, each striving to walk in the path of 
truth which she had so clearly pointed out. 

My early school days did not greatly differ 
from those of other boys, save that I always 
had a desire to be ahead in everything, whether 
in the schoolroom or on the playground, a dis- 
position which came wonderfully to my relief 
in after years. Everything went along nicely 
until one day I reached the dangerous "know- 
it-all" period, became tired of school life, and 
wanted to go to work. 

Alas ! how many young lives are ruined on 
this fatal rock of "know-it-all" or "too-big- 
to-go-to-school!" Just as soon as a foundation 
for an education has been laid, a restless spirit 
takes hold of the boy, and, in many instances, 
in a temporary dislike for study, he closes the 
books, turns his back upon the school, per- 
haps never again to enter the halls of learning, 
only to realize, in after years, that it was the 
greatest mistake of his life. 

Such is my bitter experience. I have often 

Early Life 


thought that my indulgent parents too readily 
yielded to my entreaties to give up school life 
and go to work. And is not this too often 
the case? How important it is that parents 
begin while their children are young to teach 
them concerning the tremendous responsibil- 
ities of this life and the great necessity of an 
education to meet them! Too often the boy 
is left to choose for himself ; and how can he 
choose wisely without the experience? I am 
satisfied that in my case it was a temporary 
dislike for school life and study; for after a 
few days of hard work I was sick at heart, 
and wished myself back again in the school- 
room ; but, having once taken the step, I stub- 
bornly held my position, not willing to ac- 
knowledge defeat nor endure the ridicule of 
my companions which I knew would come 
should I return to school. 

This action on my part greatly grieved my 
dear mother, who was anxious to give me the 
best education within her power, hoping that 
some day I might be fitted for the greater 
responsibilities of life. Already, like many 
other loving mothers, she had sacrificed in 
many ways to educate her children. Weeks 
wore on into months, and not much more was 
said about my returning to school. My wages, 

22 From Mines to Pulpit 

though small, went to help meet the expenses 
of the family, and soon became a fixed part 
of the income. Ten shillings a month, about 
two dollars and a half in United States money, 
was my first stipulated wages. 

Thus I found myself, at the age of fourteen, 
a day laborer, having of my own free will 
taken a step which has ever since caused me 
regret. For hundreds of times have I realized, 
to my sorrow, the truth of the words of the 
sacred writer: "If the iron be blunt, and he 
do not whet the edge, then must he put to 
more strength; but wisdom is profitable to 
direct." I soon discovered this bluntness in 
my education, and early set about repairing 
the great wrong I had, by leaving school, in- 
flicted on myself. This was done by attend- 
ing night school and studying at home. Not- 
withstanding I made progress and saved my- 
self from being wholly illiterate, I can never 
forgive myself for in youth taking the unwise 
step which deprived me of many valuable years 
of school, during which time I should have 
prepared for the stern realities of life. Should 
this book fall into the hands of a boy, or 
girl — for girls, too, need to be well trained to 
meet the demands of this competitive age — 
who is tired of school, and has formed a dis- 

Early Life 


like for study, let me, after having passed 
through the bitter experience, plead with you 
to call a halt, and, for the sake of your future 
life, and also for the sake of those whom you 
shall be called to serve, remain in school, if 
such a thing is at all possible. Listen to those 
who know the world and its ways, and es- 
pecially listen to one who made the great mis- 
take, and now warns you out of the bitter- 
ness of his experience. It is a mistaken idea 
that you can pick up an education as you go 
along. An education can not be picked up; 
its must be hammered out, and youth is the 
time to do the hammering. If you doubt the 
statement, I think you will be convinced of 
its truth if you follow me to the end of this 

My mother, being a devout Christian and a 
member of the Methodist Church, was careful 
to see that the rules of the Church respecting 
children were faithfully carried out, and very 
early in life each child was baptized and dedi- 
cated to God and his service. Hence the 
Church and Sunday-school are among my 
earliest recollections. The holy influences of 
these early years have never left me, not even 
in the darkest hours. Whenever I went astray 
a wonderful Power was brought to bear upon 

24 From Mines to Pulpit 

me, both inwardly and outwardly. God's 
Spirit was ever present to chide, and a faith- 
ful mother's prayers to plead. These influ- 
ences were always successful. 

At the age of nineteen I began to take a 
great interest in Church work. There was not 
much for young people to do in those days as 
compared with the present. No uniquely or- 
ganized young people's societies embracing all 
the departments of Christian work were to be 
found. These came later. My first oppor- 
tunity for active Christian work came about in 
a singular manner. About one mile east of my 
home is a little village known as Redruth 
Highway. The little, primitive Methodist 
chapel in this place, which for generations had 
sounded forth the praises of God, was about 
to close its doors. A band of young men, of 
which I was a member, had agreed to hold 
revival-meetings in the village chapel. Per- 
mission having been granted, we went to work 
in faith, believing that God would bless our 
efforts. Our leader was Samuel T. Jackson, 
a local preacher, who has since made his home 
in America, has been for many years a 
preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
and is at this writing a member of the Newark 
Conference, in New Jersey. Brother Jackson 

Early Life 


did the preaching, myself and others follow- 
ing with earnest exhortations and prayers. In 
a short time the entire village was aroused 
and a glorious revival was in progress. About 
seventy souls were converted and added to the 
Church. This was a great victory, not only 
for the cause of Christ and the village chapel, 
but for my own soul. I had long been de- 
bating the question in my mind as to whether 
or not I should preach the gospel, and had 
made it a subject of special prayer. The ques- 
tion was settled at this time. I determined to 
obey the Lord and preach the gospel should 
he call. 

The "Revival Band," as we were called, was 
in demand, and other meeting were held, re- 
sulting in the conversion of many souls. 

I will close this chapter with an incident 
which happened in our home. My only 
brother, James, was not a Christian, and it 
gave me no little uneasiness when I remem- 
bered that, like myself, he had been baptized 
and dedicated to God. One night, long after 
the family had retired, James came home, after 
having spent the evening with boon com- 
panions. He crept into bed, but, as I discov- 
ered a little later, not to sleep. He tossed to 
and fro, and seemed to be greatly disturbed 


From Mines to Pulpit 

about something. I was awake, but up to this 
time had not spoken to him. A little later I 
heard him sobbing, and, turning to him, I said : 
"James, what is the matter?" Imagine my 
surprise when he answered by asking me to 
pray for him. The next instant two forms 
were kneeling by the bedside and two voices 
could be heard in prayer. God was quick to 
answer our prayers. James, having yielded 
himself to God, accepted Christ as his Savior, 
was made happy in a Savior's pardoning love. 

By this time the entire family was aroused, 
and there was a great rejoicing over James's 
conversion. Mother's joy knew no bounds; 
for, while James had not been a very wicked 
young man, he had caused her no little anxiety, 
and for many years had been the burden of 
her prayers. Many thought James would not 
continue in the new life so suddenly begun; 
but in this they were mistaken. Several years 
later we met in America, and talked over the 
midnight prayer-meeting which led him to 
Christ. This meeting was also our last meet- 
ing on earth. His health began to fail, and 
compelled him to return to his native land. He 
regained his strength, went to South Africa, 
and worked in the gold mines at Johannesburg. 
One day he was stricken with the fever pe- 

Early Life 


culiar to that country, and died in a few hours. 
Some day I hope, by the grace of God, to meet 
him again in a better world, and once more 
talk of the midnight prayer-meeting when God 
spoke peace to his soul. 

I close this fragmentary sketch of my early 
life with the thought that, notwithstanding 
one's early life may have many serious mis- 
takes, yet it is possible to accomplish much 
good, and each victory gained while young will 
serve to strengthen in later years. 



"Dark, dark, is the yawning chasm 

That lies beneath his feet, 
Where day by day the miner 

Toils for bread to eat; 
Dangers stand thick around him, 

From morn until the night 
As he gropes through eternal darkness 

Shut out from heaven's sunlight." 

My first place of labor was in a crucible fac- 
tory. The crucibles were used in the various 
assay offices in the process of testing the value 
of the ores takes from the numerous mines. 
It was not long until I had a desire to go down 
one of these mines. Having been born and 
reared among them, and my ancestors having 
been miners, it was not unnatural that I should 
be led in this direction. I had always been 
familiar with the groaning and thumping of 
the big engines as the water and ore were 
raised to the surface. I was also aware of 
some of the dangers incident to a miner's life. 
Often had I stood at the mouth of the shaft 

Tin Mines of Cornwall 


and watched the miners as they tenderly 
handled the mangled, and sometimes lifeless, 
forms of their comrades who had been crushed 
in the mine below; for frequently men were 
crushed to death by falling rocks, dashed to 
pieces from falling hundreds of feet, or hor- 
ribly mutilated by premature or delayed ex- 
plosions. I knew it was not my parents' wish 
that I should work in the mine, so for a time 
I kept my desires to myself. One day, how- 
ever, I asked my father to secure a place for 
me, as I knew it was in his power so to do. 
I also laid the matter before my mother. As 
I expected, she was bitterly opposed to my 
entering the mine, and used every effort to 
dissuade me from my purpose. Finally my 
parents very reluctantly gave their consent, 
hoping that a few days of actual experience 
would lead me to change my mind. 

The Pednandrea Mine is situated near the 
town of Redruth, and it was in this mine that 
I received my first experience in mining. The 
mine was about one hundred and fifty fathoms, 
or nine hundred feet, deep. Early Monday 
morning found me dressed in a miner's suit, 
ready for the descent. I am sure I presented 
a very striking appearance, being short in 
stature and small for my age; yet I prided 

From Mines to Pulpit 

myself in possessing, what all miners have to 
a certain degree, grit and courage ; and I soon 
discovered that I needed both. The candle, 
which was to give me the much-needed light, 
was neatly rolled in a small lump of soft clay 
and securely fastened on the front of my hat, 
which was made of hard material for this pur- 
pose ; also to protect the head from falling stones 
or other articles. As is the custom, I was given 
over to the charge of an experienced miner. 
My father had chosen wisely in my case; had 
secured as my guardian one of the best men 
in the mine, William Terril, a man of sterling 
qualities, as was shown by his earnest and 
consistent Christian life. He was also rich 
in experience, having mined for many years, 
both in England and America. 

All being ready, we drew near to the shaft. 
Shall I ever forget that morning? Never! 
The mode of descending was by ladders. The 
top of the first ladder raised its head about 
four or five feet above the surface, to give 
the miner a good hold before making the de- 
scent. A large group of men and boys had 
gathered around the mouth of the dark shaft, 
drinking in the glorious sunshine as it came 
streaming over the eastern hills. Finally, one 
by one they began to disappear down the black 

Tin Mines of Cornwall 31 

hole. I was standing behind William Terril, 
who had instructed me to follow him down the 
ladder, which I began to do as soon as his 
head was below the surface. At the bottom 
of the first ladder a short halt was made and 
a light procured. After receiving my first les- 
son in adjusting the candle on the front of my 
hat, we continued our descent. Down, down 
we went, using the utmost care, for one mis- 
step would have hurled us into the yawning 
depths and to certain death. 

I am frank to confess that fear crept into 
my young heart as we continued to go down 
into the bowels of the earth. The water was 
dripping from the slimy walls, which looked 
like the sides of a huge grave, into which we 
were descending. The sound of our feet 
reverberated through the dark caverns like the 
booming of distant cannons; the flickering 
lights of the men who had preceded us could 
be seen dancing in the thick darkness far be- 
low. The sensation produced by the gloomy 
surroundings, and the flickering lights so far 
below revealing the awful emptiness beneath 
one's feet and the terrible consequences awaiting 
even one misstep, was anything but pleasant, 
and was enough to make quake a stouter heart 
than mine. Once I stood still for a moment, 


From Mines to Pulpit 

and thought of retracing my steps, and forever 
renouncing mining as a calling. But my com- 
panions would have considered that cowardly; 
so, in spite of my fears, I continued to descend, 
It took about thirty minutes to work our way 
down the long shaft; and, winding through 
several crooked passages, we finally reached 
our place of labor. I began to breathe a little 
easier when we reached the resting-place and 
the terrible strain of the previous thirty min- 
utes began to pass away. 

The interior of a mine was not at all as I 
had pictured. I had imagined a deep hole in 
the ground with men digging out the rock 
wherever a chance could be found; but, in- 
stead, I disco^tred that the shaft was sunk on 
the vein, and at distances, varying in depth 
from fifty to one hundred feet, "levels/' or 
tunnels, were run out in both directions, fol- 
lowing the vein. Also, at various distances in 
the levels intermediate shafts, called "winze/' 
were sunk, thus connecting with the level be- 
low, and at the same time dividing the vein 
into sections, called "blocks." The men were 
divided into groups, varying in numbers from 
two to ten, and sometimes more. Each group 
was given a certain block of the vein, which 
was worked until the ore was exhausted, or 

Tin Mines of Cornwall 

until it ceased to yield the ore in paying quan- 
tities. Large timbers were placed against the 
hanging walls for the safety and convenience 
of the miners. In like manner, the tracks were 
made by placing timbers across the gaping 
chasm made by excavating the ore, and laying 
rails upon them. These tracks are used for 
the purpose of bringing the ores from the 
farthermost workings of the mine to the main 
shaft, and thence it is hoisted to the surface. 

Our place of labor was five hundred and 
forty feet below the surface, and about one 
thousand feet west of the main shaft. Here 
again my courage almost failed me as I beheld 
the ragged rocks hanging directly overhead, 
and once more I wished I had taken my 
parents' advice. 

"What are you looking at?" said William 
Terril, as I stood in utter amazement look- 
ing at the threatening rocks, which seemed to 
me as if at any moment they might fall and 
grind us to powder. 

"Are you not afraid they will come down?" 
I asked. 

"O, I think not," was the reply. 

"Well," I replied, "you have had experi- 
ence, and ought to know, but I do n't like the 
looks of things around here, and some day, 

34 From Mines to Pulpit 

perhaps in the near future, these rocks will 
come down, and woe be unto the ones who 
shall be caught under!" 

My predictions came true, and much sooner 
than William had expected; but, fortunately 
for us, the crash came in the night, when no 
one was working in that section. Men at work 
in another part of the mine heard the terrific 
crash and roar of the falling rocks. In the 
morning we discovered that an avalanche of 
rocks, amounting to thousands of tons, had 
fallen, completely wrecking the place. This 
wonderful escape from a horrible death made 
a profound impression on my mind. I began 
to realize more and more the great necessity 
of being ready at any moment to meet death, 
since the miner can not tell when he may be 
brought face to face with the swift messenger. 

Another group of men were not so fortu- 
nate when, a short time before our wonderful 
escape, a similar accident occurred. While 
they were working, not thinking of danger, 
there was a loud report, instantly followed by 
the crash of rocks. Four men were instantly 
killed; two others were taken out alive, 
Samuel Collins and Luke Tonkin. Samuel 
Collins lived only a few moments after his 
mangled body was taken from beneath the 

Tin Mines of Cornwall 

rocks. His death was most touching. For 
many years he had been a devout Christian, 
and now, his body crushed and racked with 
pain, he spent the few moments remaining to 
him in prayer. After committing his wife and 
children to the keeping of God, he laid his 
head upon the rocks, already dripping with 
his life's blood, and passed to his eternal re- 
ward. His son, a young man, was instantly 
killed by his side. Luke Tonkin was more 
fortunate, having been saved by the arching 
of two huge rocks above his head, thus escap- 
ing with only a few bruises. 

It is the custom of the miners to rest for a 
few moments upon reaching the place of labor. 
The resting-place is selected with care ; some- 
times a little nook, blasted out of the solid rock 
for some other purpose, makes a good and 
also safe resting-place ; or it may be under 
the shelter of huge timbers. Here the older men 
smoke, if addicted to the habit, and many of 
them are, while the younger ones joke and 
tell amusing stories. Occasionally the older 
men give themselves up to story-telling, and 
some of the tales are ghost stories too ; for 
every mine has its ghost stories. I confess I 
felt a little nervous as I sat for the first time 
and heard those "true" ghost stories. The 

36 From Mines to Pulpit 

story was always about some one who had been 
killed in the mine, and the ghost was wander- 
ing about the old workings. So realistic did 
these stories seem to me, and so accurately 
were they told, that I often peered away into 
the dense darkness, fully expecting to see the 
ghost approaching; but, of course, it never 

I remember one story about a man who was 
killed by falling rocks. After his death the 
sound of falling rocks could be heard at stated 
times. The story went on to say that a miner, 
passing by this lonely spot one day, was sud- 
denly horrified by the crash of falling rocks 
directly above his head. There was no pos- 
sible chance of his escape ; he was in the direct 
path of the avalanche. He braced himself, de- 
termined to meet death bravely, when, instead 
of the cruel rocks crushing him, the deafen- 
ing noise passed, leaving him unharmed, while 
the rocks seemed to roll all around. After re- 
covering from surprise, the miner began to 
investigate ; but not a rock had fallen, and not 
a thing had been displaced. Relating his ex- 
perience to the other miners, the strange 
phenomenon was quickly and satisfactorily ex- 
plained when an old miner said that several 

Tin Mines of Cornwall 37 

years ago a man was killed at that place by 
falling rocks. This explanation seemed to 
satisfy all present, and, of coarse, I had to 
accept it. I may add, though, that I passed 
this lonely spot several times, and often alone, 
but never heard the "Falling Rocks" ghost. 
Finally I came to the conclusion that the ghost 
stories were told for amusement and pastime, 
and perhaps, also, to try the nerves of the 
young miner, and I find no reason at this late 
day to change my opinion. 

After the few moments' rest, the day's work 
began, some with hammer and drill, others 
with pick and shovel, wresting the strong rock 
from its place of security. Holes were bored 
into the solid rock, charged with powder, and 
exploded, thus tearing the rock asunder, when 
it would be placed into cars, sent to the main 
shaft, and hoisted to the surface. 

The day's work done, then began the toil- 
some task of ascending the long shaft. This 
is very tiresome, and only those who have ex- 
perienced the fatigue which comes through 
climbing hundreds of feet up the winding shaft 
can fully realize it. There are resting-places 
along the way, and I remember with what 
pleasure we approached them, and with what 

38 From Mines to Pulpit 

joy we greeted the precious daylight, reaching 
the surface just in time to catch the sun kiss- 
ing the western hills good-night. 

I recall a thrilling experience through which 
I passed shortly after I began to work in the 
mine. One day I was ascending the shaft, 
alone, and when about half way up my light 
suddenly went out, leaving me in total dark- 
ness. I had neglected that morning to re- 
plenish my matchbox, and to my consternation 
I found it was empty. There was only one of 
two things to do : either sit down in my tracks, 
or grope my way to the surface. To sit down 
meant to remain in the cold, damp atmosphere 
perhaps for hours, so I decided to grope my 
way, if possible, to the surface. I had become 
quite familiar with the ladder-way, and found 
no difficulty until a long, winding passage was 
reached. Here I crept on my hands and knees. 
I did not dare risk walking erect, for there 
were several places along the passage where 
the bottom had been taken out, and only a 
single plank served for a bridge across the 
yawning abyss. When I reached the first 
plank I hesitated to cross, thinking that, rather 
than take such a risk, perhaps I had better 
wait, if necessary, even until the next day; 
but a spirit of venture and daring had also 

Tin Mines of Cornwall 

seized me, and, with a desire to accomplish 
what I considered at that time a daring feat, 
I began to creep along the slippery plank. A 
loose stone slipped over the edge, as my feet 
pulled away from the solid ground, and went 
crashing down the dark depths. I paused for 
a moment, and listened to the sound echoing 
and re-echoing through the caverns below, and 
at the same time thought of my own fate 
should I slip off the narrow bridge. I began 
to breathe easier when I felt the solid ground 
at the other end of the plank. In this manner 
I dragged myself along for hundreds of feet, 
until I finally came to the ladders, and from 
this point I had no difficulty in reaching the 

For some time I kept the secret of my 
perilous journey; and when I finally made it 
known, some admired me for my pluck, as they 
called it; but wise old William Terril scolded 
me for my foolhardiness, a scolding which I 
justly deserved. However, it taught me the 
lesson always to carry a good supply of 
matches ever afterwards. 

It may interest my readers to know how 
some of the mines of Cornwall are situated. 
Tin is found at various points along the west- 
ern coast, and at some places even in the sands 


From Mines to Pulpit 

along the shore. Likewise, veins are found on 
the cliffs close to the sea. The vein is followed 
down to the level of the sea, then below it, 
and even out under the sea, until it is said 
the miners can hear the rumbling of the mighty 
ocean above their heads. The Levant Mine, 
near Land's End, runs out about one mile 
under the sea, the miners working with the 
sea rolling hundreds of feet above their heads. 
Large pumping engines are at work day and 
night throwing the water to the surface, or to 
a certain level, where a hole has been made in 
the side of the cliff, from which place it goes 
splashing back into the sea. In this region are 
to be found some of the largest pumping en- 
gines in the world. Not all the mines are along 
the coast; many of them are several miles in- 
land, the surrounding country being rich in 
the deposits of tin and copper. 

As time wore on I became accustomed to the 
dark and gloomy mine. Months wore into 
years, and no more was said about my return- 
ing to school. I was now considered a miner 
in the fullest sense of the word ; but I was far 
from satisfied with the choice I had made, and 
so availed myself of every opportunity to pre- 
pare for some more desirable and useful life- 
calling. This was done by attending night 

Tin Mines of Cornwall 41 

school and studying at home. In this way year 
after year I plodded on, each year realizing 
more and more the irreparable mistake I had 
made in leaving school at such an early age; 
but, for the present, at least, there was but 
one thing to do — to keep on in the way I had 
marked out for myself. 



"Deep down in the earth's dark caverns, 
The miner mines the ore, 
Death lurks in the dark behind him, 
And hides in the rock before." 

The fourteen long years spent in the tin 
mines of Cornwall and the gold mines of 
Colorado have made me familiar with all the 
phases and dangers of mining. There is 
scarcely a danger incident to mining to which 
I have not been exposed, and several times I 
barely escaped death. Once my comrade was 
stricken down by my side, and I escaped with- 
out harm. 

A whole volume could easily be written on 
the dangers of this hazardous calling. In this 
chapter I will endeavor to portray a few of 
the dangers through which the seeker of the 
precious minerals must pass. Speaking from 
experience, I can say that but few men in 
other callings have so disagreeable or so hard 
a lot. Deep down in the dark, dreary caverns 

Dangers of Mining 


of the mine, breathing a damp, close atmos- 
phere, suffering from intense heat, drenched 
with pouring water, exposed to a thousand 
dangers, laboring from morn till night, or from 
night till morn, with hammer and drill, pick 
and shovel, truly it can be said the miner has 
no enviable lot. He may be forgotten by those 
who tread the greensward above his head, 
bathing in the glorious sunshine which he 
rarely ever sees, and breathing the pure breath 
of heaven, for the lack of which the poor 
miner's lungs are becoming choked and 
shriveled, yet all men profit by his industry. 
By some his calling has been considered low 
and degrading, and often he has been called 
"the dirty miner/' This is both unfair and 
ungrateful. It is only right that his brave 
and arduous work should be generously recog- 
nized, and that he receive the sympathy of 
all men which he so worthily deserves. His 
is a noble work, characterized by ingenuity 
and enterprise. No other calls for greater 
thought, effort, and daring. The sinking of 
the shaft through the glistening granite, the 
tunneling through the heart of the solid earth, 
the blasting out of the huge galleries, can be 
accomplished only by the combined effort of 
science, philosophy, and courage. In the min- 


From Mines to Pulpit 

ing districts the rate of mortality is something 
appalling. Should the miner avoid the thou- 
sand dangers which threaten him, he rarely 
escapes the dreadful disease known as "miners' 
consumption/' which is simply the stopping 
up of the lungs with dust and poisonous damps. 
The following article, taken from an English 
paper printed in the mining district, and which 
can also be applied to the mining districts of 
other countries, portrays in striking language 
this terrible disease : "Miners' complaint is not 
so prevalent as it used to be. This is largely 
owing to the improved conditions of labor 
underground, as well as better food and hous- 
ing. Probably at present the greatest risk is 
incurred by those who work boring machines, 
which are everywhere more or less hurtful to 
the users. The dust which arises may be ar- 
rested in the upper air passages ; but, as the 
Hospital points out, an extra breath, or an 
extra amount of dust in the atmosphere, may 
cause a miner to inhale enough to affect the 
bronchial membranes. Ultimately inflamma- 
tion and suppuration follow. The miner first 
suffers from bronchitis; but soon the disease 
spreads to the lungs, and the typical symp- 
toms resemble phthisis. The miner is an 
anaemic, enfeebled individual, breathing rapidly 

Dangers of Mining 45 

and with great difficulty, incapable of making 
any physical effort, and troubled with a per- 
petually hacking cough. He walks about his 
village an object of pity, 'waiting for his turn/ 
Perhaps he will have five years to wait; com- 
monly he will have only four ; more commonly 
he will have only two or three years to 

As a result of the fearful rate of mortality 
there are many widows and orphans in mining 
localities, and too frequently hunger and w r ant 
stare them in the face. The sufferings and 
want of these unfortunate people, however, 
have been greatly relieved by the many "benefit 
societies" which have sprung up in their midst, 
such as the Masons, Odd Fellows, Foresters, 
and numerous others. What many of these 
poor, dying men, widows, and orphans would 
do without these societies I do not know. 
There may be places in the world where these 
societies can be dispensed with ; but, from what 
I have seen of their work, and the vast amount 
of good I know they have accomplished and 
are still accomplishing in mining localities, 
both in England and America, I predict that 
these people will not willingly or soon give 
them up. These benefit societies, often mis- 
named "secret orders," are, therefore, certainly 

46 From Mines to Pulpit 

a great blessing to these disabled miners, 
widows, and orphans. 

To portray the dangers of mining is a diffi- 
cult task, since we may never expect to ap- 
proach near the reality. The first danger is 
that of descending the shaft. When ladders 
are used, many men have taken a misstep, lost 
their hold, and fallen to instant death. But 
ladders are not now employed, except in cases 
of emergency; the cage, or the bucket, and in 
some cases the man-engine, being the methods 
generally adopted. One must pass through 
this thrilling experience of plunging hundreds 
of feet down a chasm in order to appreciate 
fully the danger. I shall never forget my first 
experience in the California Mine, in Gilpin 
County, Colorado. To the inexperienced, one 
look into the long, black shaft is enough to 
make him shrink and tremble; but when he 
enters the bucket, and becomes conscious of the 
fact that he is dangling at the end of a slender 
rope, with a gaping chasm two thousand feet 
in depth beneath him, it is enough to chill the 
blood and cause the heart to cease to beat. 
The feeling which came over me when I made 
my first descent into this mine can not be de- 
scribed. The thought flashed through my 
mind, What if the rope should break? I will 

Dangers of Mining 47 

ask the reader to accompany me in this de- 
scent. You take your place in the bucket. The 
signal is given, the lever of the great engine 
is reversed, and then you experience the dis- 
tressing sensation of falling through space. 
Down ! down ! each moment seems an age ! 
Will we never reach the bottom ? One minute 
— two, three, four, five— we are now one thou- 
sand feet below the surface, with every ray of 
precious daylight shut out. The darkness is so 
thick you imagine you can feel it, and that 
you are breathing it into your very lungs. 
Down ! down ! down ! The bucket is tearing 
and plunging in its flight like a mad demon 
taking you to the bottomless pit. Ten minutes 
of agony is enough to try the stoutest nerves. 
Suddenly the motion stops, and you are sur- 
rounded by dim lights and grimy faces. 
Climbing out of the bucket, you find yourself 
in a huge chamber, blasted out of the solid 
rock, two thousand feet below the surface. 
Here branch out levels, some of which are 
thousands of feet in length. The "Dolcoath" 
Mine, in Cornwall, England, and only four 
miles from my home, has over seventy-five 
miles of levels and galleries. In the accom- 
plishment of this enormous task men have been 
continually working for more than eighty-five 

48 From Mines to Pulpit 

years. Three generations at least, according 
to the length of a miner's life, have passed 
away during this time. Scattered throughout 
these levels and galleries six hundred men are 
at work, while on the surface a like number 
are employed taking care of the mineral as it 
is sent up from the mine. 

As you follow your leader along the levels 
your ear is greeted by the sound of the hammer 
and the pick. Above you and below you men 
are wrestling with the strong rock for the pre- 
cious mineral which it holds so securely in its 
embrace. Suddenly a tremendous roar rever- 
berates through the lofty galleries and makes 
the walls tremble around you, and at the same 
time the crash of falling rocks bursts upon 
your ear. You look about for a way of escape ; 
but it is too late ; for if your thoughts and fears 
were to be realized the rocks would have al- 
ready crushed you beneath their weight. The 
roar and crash of falling rocks are explained 
when you learn that the loud report was a 
blast from the level above, tearing off a por- 
tion of the gold-bearing rock. Men are work- 
ing all around — in the drift ahead, the winze 
below, and in the galleries overhead. This 
presents an uncanny sight when for the first 
time witnessed in the dim light of the flicker- 

Dangers of Mining 


ing candle. In some places, where the heat 
is intense, the men are stripped to the waist. 
The perspiration, mingled with the dust, glis- 
tening on their bodies; the groans which es- 
cape the miner's lips at each blow of the ham- 
mer ; the clanging of the hammers, drills, picks, 
and shovels, seem to recall Dante's vision of 
the infernal regions. For eight hours this 
fierce struggle is kept up, only to be renewed 
by another set of men, who are likewise re- 
lieved at the end of eight hours. Thus, day 
and night, the battle is continually waged be- 
tween flesh and rock. 

Having witnessed this, you are now ready 
for the ascent. The same bucket, with open 
mouth, is waiting at the bottom of the shaft. 
You would prefer to escape the thrilling ex- 
perience of ascending the long shaft, but there 
is no alternative. You are two thousand feet 
below the surface, and if you are again to be- 
hold the sunlight you must enter the bucket 
and trust to the rope. All being ready, the 
signal is given by pulling the bell rope, or 
pushing the electric button, and, two thousand 
feet above, the wheels of the great engine com- 
mence to move, and the journey to the sur- 
face has begun. The sensation is not so pe- 
culiar as was that of descending; neither is 


From Mines to Pulpit 

there that dread which filled you when you 
were being dropped into the mine ; but, instead 
of hesitation and fear, hope springs higher in 
your breast as each revolution of the engine 
brings you nearer the coveted surface; and 
when at length you turn away from the deep, 
dark hole in the ground, unconsciously a sigh 
of relief escapes your lips, and, like many 
others, you may resolve that, unless circum- 
stances compel you, you will never again 
undertake a like adventure. 

The danger of descending and ascending the 
shaft is much dreaded by the miners, and I 
assure my readers that I was no exception to 
this rule. Often I have resorted to the tedious 
task of "walking/' as climbing the ladders is 
called, in preference to riding. But after the 
hard day's work is done, the opportunity to 
ride is a great temptation, and often the most 
timid will run the risk, notwithstanding some 
of the most appalling accidents connected with 
mining have happened. In August, 1883, 
about one month previous to my departure 
from England for America, a terrible accident 
of this nature occurred at "Wheal Agar Mine," 
about two miles from my home. At the time 
I was working in the mine adjoining, the 
"East Pool." It was about six o'clock in the 

Dangers of Mining 51 

morning. We were about to descend to our 
places of labor, when news reached us that 
a terrible accident had happened in the mine 
across the way. Men looked at one another 
with blanched faces, and strong men wept 
when they heard of the fate of their fellow- 
men. Among the miners there is a bond of 
sympathy, linking heart to heart, and at these 
trying times no effort is made to conceal the 
feelings, The men in the ill-fated mine had 
just completed the night shift, and had con- 
gregated at the bottom of the shaft to wait for 
the cage, as w r as their custom, to ride to the 
surface, a distance of about twelve hundred 
feet. A booming sound, made by the cage in 
its downward flight, told them that it was 
coming; the next instant it was at their feet. 
The cage, being made with two compartments, 
had room for twelve men, six in each com- 
partment. It was soon filled with men eager 
to reach the surface. The thirteenth man, con- 
trary to the rules of the mine, had taken his 
place on the roof of the cage. The signal was 
given, and the cage, with its precious cargo of 
thirteen human beings, commenced to ascend 
the long shaft. The men expected soon to 
reach the surface, and once more return to the 
fond embrace of wife and children ; and in the 


From Mines to Pulpit 

miner's home the good wife was preparing the 
morning meal, anxiously waiting her husband's 
return. The children were planning to run 
and meet father, and climb into his strong, lov- 
ing arms, as they had often done before. But 
alas! that such joyous anticipations should so 
suddenly be turned into weeping. Miners 
often sing religious songs while descending 
and ascending the shaft, not merely to while 
away the time, but to bring comfort to their 
hearts ; for many of them are God-fearing men. 
In this case the voices of the men in the cage 
had already reached the surface, and could be 
distinctly heard by the men standing at the top 
of the shaft as they sang an old Church hymn. 
Nearer and nearer the surface they came; so 
near that they could hear the voices of the men 
at the top, and could feel the fresh morning 
air playing around their cheeks. Almost safe ! 
The top of the cage came into view. The man 
who had taken his place on the roof stepped 
off on a lower landing. One more revolution 
of the engine, and all will be safe. Just then 
one of the men on the surface, who had been 
looking in the direction of the rope, cried : 
"Look ! look ! The rope ! the rope !" Horror- 
stricken, the men looked at the rope, and then 

Dangers of Mining 53 

at one another. They were powerless to render 
the slightest help. It was only a moment — it 
seemed an age ! The rope twists ! It cracks ! 
Heaven help — it parts! The men on the sur- 
face listened for a moment as the cage made 
one mad plunge into the pit of death ! No 
one moved; all were filled with horror. It 
seemed as if it were a terrible nightmare, or 
a fearful dream. But one by one they began 
to realize the truth of the awful calamity — 
that twelve of their fellow-laborers had met a 
sudden and horrible death, and that to the long 
list twelve more had been added who had sacri- 
ficed their lives in the performance of an irk- 
some duty. 

Sometimes there have been escapes which 
seemed miraculous. In Cornwall six men were 
precipitated down a winding shaft hundreds 
of feet, and escaped almost without injury. 
The cage kept the track, its speed having been 
checked at intervals by the curves in the shaft. 
Finally its struck the "gate," a heavy obstruc- 
tion placed across the shaft, which stopped it. 
It all happened in so short a time that the men 
did not fully realize their danger. At the sur- 
face no one imagined that the men had escaped 
death ; but, strange to say, only one man was 

54 From Mines to Pulpit 

injured, and he not fatally. Below the "gate" 
was sixty feet of water, and had the cage gone 
through death would have been certain. 

These terrible accidents, and others of the 
same nature, caused a demand for greater pro- 
tection and safety in descending the shaft, and 
to-day this danger has been greatly lessened 
by the use of "catches," an invention which 
stops the cage in case the rope should break. 
The "catches" consist of huge jaws, which are 
kept open by the weight of the cage; but the 
instant the weight is taken from the rope, 
either by the parting of the rope or by the 
cage resting on the bottom, the "catches" come 
together with a snap, at the same time bury- 
ing their teeth in the timbers known as run- 
ners, which act as guides for the cage, reach- 
ing from the top to the bottom of the shaft. 
In this manner the cage is arrested, sometimes 
falling only a few feet after the rope has 

Some years ago an inventive mind devised 
the "man-engine" as a means for descending 
and ascending the shaft. This method, like- 
wise, has its dangers, but is taken by many 
in preference to the cage. The man-engine 
is a long beam, or "rod," as it is sometimes 
called, about eight inches square, and reach- 

Dangers of Mining 

ing from the surface to the bottom of the 
shaft. Securely fastened to the beam are 
steps, about one foot and one-half square. 
These steps are placed twelve feet apart, the 
exact stroke of the beam when in motion. In 
the shaft are platforms, also twelve feet apart. 
The steps on the beam and the platforms in 
the shaft are brought to a level at each stroke 
of the beam. To descend by the man-engine 
the miner takes his place on the first step when 
it is even with the surface, at the same time 
taking hold of the iron handhold which is fas- 
tened to the beam, about four feet above each 
step. The step remains stationary for two 
or three seconds, the time taken for the ^engine 
to turn the center. The downward plunge of 
the beam takes him down twelve feet. Here 
the same pause is made; he steps off, and if 
men are ascending, they step on. By this time 
the engine has turned the center, and the beam 
takes an upward move, taking with it all the 
men who desire to reach the surface. The 
man who is descending must now wait until 
the full stroke of the beam is made, which 
brings another step to his feet ; if another man 
is ascending on this step, he steps off, while 
the one descending steps on, and is carried 
down another twelve feet. Thus, by means 


From Mines to Pulpit 

of the long beam working up and down, men 
are taken down, while others are being lifted 
to the surface, in "jumps" of twelve feet; or, 
rather, the beam takes the jumps and the men 
hang on. While ascent or descent by means 
of the man-engine may appear to be easy, it 
is accompanied with great danger, and many 
unfortunate, or perhaps, in some cases, care- 
less ones, have met with instant death by this 
method. My experience taught me that the 
greatest danger is in making the ascent. There 
must be close attention paid to every move. 
Carelessness or a misstep might mean instant 
death or a horribly mangled form. The hole 
in the platform is just large enough to admit 
the step, so it can be readily seen that a care- 
less position of the head or shoulders would 
catch the miner between the step and plat- 
form and crush him. More than once I came 
near being caught in this manner. Once my 
shoulder was caught beneath the edge of the 
platform, but presence of mind and a sudden 
wrench saved me from a horrible fate; as it 
was, I escaped with a badly bruised shoulder, 
which for days constantly reminded me of my 
narrow escape. I soon discovered that the only 
safety was in keeping close to the beam, with 
a firm grasp on the handhold. The beam, 

Dangers of Mining 

once set in motion, stops for nothing. Should 
the body of a man get in its way, it would 
crush it as easily as it would crush an egg- 
shell; hence nothing but constant vigilance 
on the part of the miner will save him from 
serious accident. Yet, dangerous as the man- 
engine is, it is a wonderful invention, and is 
regarded by the miner almost as a thing of 

Water is also an enemy to the miner, and 
many lives have been swept away by the in- 
rushing torrents; sometimes coming from an 
abandoned mine, and sometimes from floods 
on the surface. There are bodies in some of 
the deep mines of Cornwall which will never 
be found. In one instance a subterraneous 
lake was encountered, instantly flooding the 
mine, and drowning several men. To pump 
out this water is considered an impossibility. 
The bodies must await the resurrection morn. 
It is also a part of mining history in Corn- 
wall, that in 1846 a waterspout, traveling 
from the sea, in the Newlyn East District, 
broke over East and North Rose Mine, in- 
stantly flooding it, and drowning fifty-three 
men. In another mine, on the western coast 
of Cornwall, while the waves of the Atlantic 
are beating against the tall cliffs above, the 


From Mines to Pulpit 

waves of a subterraneous sea are tossing the 
bodies of twenty unfortunate miners on the 
bosom of its inky waters. 

Neither is this danger of water confined to 
Cornwall, where large bodies of water are en- 
countered in close proximity to the sea, but 
thousands of miles inland, and thousands of 
feet above the sea, in the Rocky Mountains 
of Colorado, and, in fact, everywhere where 
mining is prosecuted to any extent, the same 
danger in some form is met. A large body 
of water was encountered a few years ago 
in a mine near Central City, Col. The men 
were working at their posts hundreds of feet 
below the surface, when suddenly they were 
appalled by a tremendous roar. With whit- 
ened faces the men looked at one another, for 
each had guessed the awful truth. The water 
had broken in from an abandoned mine. There 
was not a moment to lose, and only those 
working in the upper levels had the slightest 
chance to escape. Almost instantly those in 
the bottom of the mine found a watery grave. 
A father and son — Henry Prisk and little 
Willie, for Willie was but a boy, and was at 
one time a member of my Sunday-school 
class — made a desperate struggle for life. They 
were below the point where the water broke 

Dangers of Mining 59 

in, and were fighting their way against the 
current. Up, up! they went, the foaming 
waters following like some wild beast eager 
for its prey. Every nerve was strained, the 
strength taxed to the utmost. The father sev- 
eral times endangered his life to save his son, 
whose strength was unequal to the dreadful 
task, now helping him over the rocks, now 
taking him across the dangerous opening, the 
water and debris crashing down around them ; 
now up the perpendicular ladders in the face 
of the downpouring torrent! But flesh and 
blood were never intended for such a battle, 
and especially for one so tender in years as 
Willie. He had made a heroic effort, but 
could do no more. A faint cry escaped his 
lips, quickly followed by a splash ! The angry 
waters closed over the frail form, thus adding 
one more to the list of the dead. The father 
would gladly have plunged after his darling 
boy had there been the slightest possibility 
of rescuing him; but hope there was none. 
His greatest duty now was to save himself, 
if possible; for in the home were other chil- 
dren and a wife dependent on him for sup- 
port, and who knew nothing of the terrible 
struggle the husband and father was making 
in the lonely shaft. With almost superhuman 

6o From Mines to Pulpit 

strength he forced himself up through the 
rushing torrent. Those above the danger point 
had given up hope of seeing any of their un- 
fortunate comrades alive; but a few did make 
their escape, and Henry Prisk was among the 
number. Bruised and bleeding, he dragged 
himself up the last ladder, and, in an ex- 
hausted condition, placed himself beyond the 
danger point. With heavy heart he climbed 
the mountain path leading to his home. The 
news of the catastrophe had reached it before 
him. He was received with joy and sorrow — 
joy for his safe return, sorrow for Willie, who 
would never return. In this case the water 
was pumped out, and the bodies recovered 
and laid to rest in the quiet graveyard under 
the shadows of the snowcapped hills. 

I will speak of one other danger to which 
the miner is daily exposed — the blasting of 
the rock with powder or dynamite. It is not 
uncommon in the mining districts to see men 
with sightless sockets, disfigured faces, or 
armless coatsleeves, resulting from premature 
or delayed explosions, while numbers have 
been ushered into eternity without a moment's 
warning. I will illustrate this danger by a 
very pitiful case which came under my own 
notice while I was yet working in the gold 

Dangers of Mining 6 1 

mines of Colorado. Thomas Tippett, a fel- 
low-miner, left his home one morning for his 
place of labor in the mine. Everything went 
well until it came to placing the dynamite in 
the hole. Suddenly there was a loud report, 
quickly followed by a blinding flash, and the 
young man lay a bleeding, helpless mass upon 
the rocks beneath. A premature explosion 
had occurred while he was placing the dyna- 
mite in the hole. Willing hands were speedily 
at the side of the unfortunate young man, and 
tenderly carried the mangled form to the sta- 
tion, and from thence he was slowly hoisted 
to the surface. As a result of this accident, 
after long weeks of suffering, one eye was 
yielded up, and the face otherwise disfigured. 
Fully appreciating the value of the remaining 
eye, and not wishing to run the risk of again 
descending the dark and dangerous mine, he 
secured a place on the surface. One day, while 
working on a grade on the side of a mountain, 
it was necessary to use some dynamite to blast 
off a portion of the rock, when in some mys- 
terious manner he once more became the vic- 
tim, this time of a delayed explosion — which 
means that the charge had failed to explode 
at the proper time, perhaps on account of a 
faulty place in the fuse. After waiting a 

62 From Mines to Pulpit 

stated time, he returned to recharge the hole, 
and while engaged in this the explosion oc- 
curred. The second accident deprived him 
of the remaining eye, compelling him to grope 
his way through the world in darkness. It 
fell to my lot to help nurse him through this 
last affliction. It was a sad duty. One day, 
lifting his bandaged face, wet with scalding 
tears, he said to me, "Brother George, it is 
so hard to feel one's eye trickling down the 
cheek ; but I have learned to trust in God, and 
he will never forsake me." My heart was 
moved with pity as I beheld him, knowing 
that it was too true ; for the remaining eye 
was so torn by the blast that % it ran out, and 
left nothing but the empty socket. 

This case, as do others of a like nature, 
called forth the sympathies of his fellow-men. 
The members of our Church — the St. James 
Methodist Episcopal Church, in Central City, 
of which the unfortunate young man was also 
a member — organized a relief society for his 
benefit. After a thorough canvass, we placed 
into his hands a check, at the same time tell- 
ing him there were over eleven hundred dol- 
lars in the bank to his credit. Of course, his 
joy knew no bounds. He could only stammer 
thanks to his benefactors, while the tears 

Dangers of Mining 


streamed from his sightless eyes and ran down 
his cheeks. 

The above case is only one of thousands. 
There is not a day without serious accidents, 
wherein some are maimed for life, while others 
are killed outright. This may seem a grue- 
some chapter, but the facts are not overdrawn. 
The agonies endured by the miner can never 
be told by man. Of him it can truly be said : 

" Dangers stand thick through all the ground 
To push him to the tomb." 



"The mother, sending forth her child 

To meet with cares and strife, 
Breathes through her tears her doubts and fears 

For the loved one's future life. 
No cold ' adieu,' no ' farewell,' lives 

Within her choking sigh, 
But the deepest sob of anguish gives, 

i God bless thee, boy! Good-bye!' " 

The turning point of a young man's life 
is when he steps out from under the parental 
roof, and for himself faces the stern realities 
of the world. The continuous working in the 
tin mines, with little or no prospect of im- 
proving my financial condition, became very 
monotonous, and was no small factor in caus- 
ing me to take the step. Hundreds of my 
fellow-laborers began life struggling, and 
ended it in the same manner. The average 
wages paid the Cornish miner is barely suffi- 
cient to meet the needs of the family. It is 
not my intention to cast undue reflection on 
the mining industry of Cornwall, yet it must 

Leaving Home 

be admitted that the wages paid the miners 
are far below the wages paid in America. Per- 
haps this is due largely to the fact that the 
mines in Cornwall are old, and can no longer 
yield the ores in large quantities, and many 
of them are being worked on a close margin 
of profit, and in some instances at a great loss ; 
while in America the country is comparatively 
new, and the mineral resources almost limit- 
less. But let the cause be what it may, it is 
none the less true that England loses hun- 
dreds of her young men every year, who leave 
their native land, many of them never to re- 
turn, for America, or some other foreign 
country, where the inducements are greater 
and a higher price is paid for labor. For my- 
self, I was heartily tired of working for so 
little compensation. For seven years I had 
been in the mines, and was no further ahead, 
financially, than when I began. The only con- 
solation I had was that during these seven 
years of toil I had helped to meet the expenses 
of the home. I was now nearly twenty-one 
years of age, and without money enough to 
take me out of the county in which I was born. 
I considered my case from every standpoint, 
but did not find much to encourage me; and, 
to make matters appear a great deal worse, 


66 From Mines to Pulpit 

operations had ceased where I had been work- 
ing, leaving me without employment and 
money. After making several unsuccessful 
attempts to get work in the various mines, I 
finally abandoned the search, and began to lay 
plans for a broader future. Often I would 
sit for hours and watch the vessels as they 
came from distant lands, and wonder if some- 
where beyond the deep blue sea there was not 
a place of greater opportunity — a land where 
a young man could, by merit, rise above the 
poor conditions surrounding him at birth. 
Yes ! I had heard of such a land. I had heard 
of its heroic, s^lf-made men in such char- 
acters as Lincoln and Garfield — of Lincoln, 
with his ax, hewing his way from log-cabin 
to White House; of Garfield, from the little 
clearing in the backwoods, to the same place. 
To this land of opportunity I decided to go. 
I soon discovered, however, that with the 
amount of money I possessed,, a journey that 
would require fifteen or twenty pounds — sev- 
enty-five or one hundred dollars in United 
States money — was no small undertaking. 
There were two plans, either of which would 
take me across the Atlantic: First, to borrow 
the money if possible; second, to work my 
passage across the ocean. The first plan would 

Leaving Home 

6 7 

be more desirable and independent, so I began 
to look about for the necessary amount. I 
knew it would be useless to ask my parents 
for money, for they were opposed to my leav- 
ing home; and even had they favored my 
course, they had not the means to render the 
necessary help. Fortune seemed to favor me, 
however, and I soon had the money — enough 
to pay my passage to New York, and a small 
amount left to reach one of the mining dis- 
tricts. Willing hands, yet heavy hearts, were 
kept busy for several days preparing changes 
of raiment and other things that would be 
needed for the next two or three years. There 
was one whose heart was filled with sorrow, 
and whose tears kept time with the stitches 
made with her hands. It was mother. The 
thought of her boy going out into the world 
alone was almost more than she could endure. 
The last few days were spent in calling on 
friends and relatives, and in visiting familiar 
places along the seashore. As the time to leave 
drew near it began to dawn upon my mind 
that it was not such an easy thing to leave 
home as I had thought it would be. It took 
a tremendous effort to break away from loved 
ones and the surroundings of childhood. 
At last the morning came, the 19th day of 


From Mines to Pulpit 

September, 1883. A hasty breakfast, and a 
sweet good-bye to all was said. Mother was 
the last one to give me up. Throwing her 
loving arms around my neck, and drawing 
me close to her bosom, as only a mother can 
do, she said through her tears : "God bless 
you, my boy ! I have done my best to train 
you in the fear of the Lord. You are about to 
go to a strange land, where you will find many 
temptations to lead you astray; but God will 
help you to overcome them if you put your 
trust in him. I have committed you to the 
keeping of Him who never sleeps, and who 
has promised to guide his children with his 
fatherly eye. Good-bye. If we never meet 
again on earth, may we, by the grace of God, 
meet in heaven. Let me kiss you once more. 
Good-bye. God bless you ! Good-bye !" Lit- 
tle did I think that I would never see her 
again; that I had received the last kiss from 
a mother's lips, and the last embrace from 
her loving arms. She has gone to be with 
Christ, which is far better. By God's help, I 
expect to meet her where parting is not known. 

The train came thundering in. A farewell 
to father and brother, who had accompanied 
me to the station, and the next moment I was 
being carried from the place of my birth and 

Leaving Home 

6 9 

the happy scenes of childhood. Each meadow 
and lane seemed to say good-bye as the train 
passed hurriedly on. Away to the north the 
tall cliffs stretched far above the lowlands, as 
if to present a parting view. In a short time 
the familiar scenes had been left far behind, 
and I began to realize, for the first time in 
my life, that I was out in the world and alone. 

I soon discovered, however, that I was not 
the only one on the train bound for America. 
There were several young men — some from 
places west of my home, others came on later. 
Only one was from my own home — James 
Martin. We soon found each other, and de- 
cided to cast our lots together until we reached 
our journey's end. Late that night we arrived 
at Liverpool, from which port we were to set 
sail the next day. The next morning found 
us up early, making preparations for embarka- 
tion. Our finances being limited, we were 
compelled to take "steerage" passage. This 
meant that we were to provide plate, knife 
and fork, and cup ; also a blanket under which 
to sleep. These, with many other things to 
add to my comfort, were safely packed away 
in my carpetbag. On reaching the floating 
dock we found the tugs ready to take the pas- 
sengers and baggage to the great ocean 

70 From Mines to Pulpit 

steamer, two miles from shore. Everybody 
seemed in a hurry. The first tug was soon 
filled with trunks, carpetbags, men, women, 
and children. Another tug, and still another, 
rapidly followed. This was kept up for hours, 
until I began to wonder how many were go- 
ing on the steamer, and whether there would 
be room for the piles of baggage and hundreds 
of passengers. 

Martin and I were standing in line, waiting 
our turn to board. I shall never forget that 
short ride on the tug; such a motley crowd 
I had never before seen or heard. There were 
Englishmen, Irishmen, Scotchmen, Welshmen, 
Germans, Norwegians, Italians, Swedes, Fin- 
landers — in fact, there were representatives 
from nearly every civilized nation on the 
globe, and all were trying to talk at the same 
time, and each in his own language. For me 
it was a most interesting sight, since I had 
not seen much of the world or its people. I 
had never been out of the county in which 
I was born, except once, when I was a small 
boy, my father took me to Plymouth, just 
across the county line, to see the Prince of 
Wales, now King Edward VII, of England. 

I had already realized that I was alone in 
the world, and it was while on the tug that 

Leaving Home 


it occurred to me that I must look out for 
my own battles. I began to do this imme- 
diately, by pushing myself through the crowd 
until a little space was found large enough 
for our carpetbags ; for Martin was at my 
side, or heels, as we fought our way. The 
carpetbag made a good seat on the tug, and 
later a good pillow on the steamer. 

In due time we reached the side of the 
great Atlantic steamer — the Celtic, of the 
White Star Line. A feeling of awe came 
over me as I was climbing up the side of the 
huge vessel. I had often seen the fishing- 
smacks and coal barges as they came into 
the little seaports near my home; but they 
seemed toys when compared with the Celtic, 
which looked like a moving village. On 
board the steamer we found the confusion ten 
times worse than on the tug. A mixed multi- 
tude of fifteen hundred people crowded the 
decks or were in the berths below. 

As soon as the passengers and baggage 
were on board the steamer the last tug quietly 
slipped away, which seemed to me like the 
parting of the only link that bound us to the 
shores of old England. Precisely at noon the 
steamer's whistle roared forth, like some wild 
beast of the forest, the echo dying away among 

72 From Mines to Pulpit 

the tall cliffs along the shore; the anchors 
were raised; the engines began to groan and 
thump; and the long and perilous journey 
across the Atlantic Ocean had begun. 

" Mother, I leave thy dwelling, 

Thy counsel and thy care; 
With grief my heart is swelling 

No more in them to share; 
Nor hear that sweet voice speaking 

When hours of joy run high, 
Nor meet that mild eye seeking 

When sorrow's touch comes nigh. 

Mother, I leave thy dwelling; 

O! shall it be forever? 
With grief my heart is swelling, 

From thee — from thee — to sever. 
These arms that now enfold me 

So closely to thy heart, 
These eyes that now behold me, 

From all — from all — I part." 



"Beautiful, sublime, and glorious; 
Mild, majestic, foaming, free — 
Over time itself victorious, 
Image of eternity! 

Sun, moon, and stars shine o'er thee, 

See thy surface ebb and flow, 
Yet attempt not to explore thee 

In thy soundless depths below. 

Whether morning's splendors steep thee 
With the rainbow's glowing grace, 

Tempests rouse, or navies sweep thee, 
'Tis but for a moment's space. 

Karth — her valleys and her mountains, 

Mortal man's behests obey; 
The unfathomable fountains 

Scoff his search and scorn his sway. 

Such art thou, stupendous ocean ! 

But, if overwhelmed by thee, 
Can we think, without emotion, 

What must thy Creator be?" 

The last sound of "good-bye, and good 
luck," from the men on the tug had died 
away, the waving handkerchiefs had faded 

From Mines to Pulpit 

into the mists, and finally the tug itself was 
lost in the distance; the tall spires of Liver- 
pool looked like thin streaks in the noonday 
sky. I stood for awhile looking over the side 
of the steamer, watching the tall cliffs and 
the shores of my native land fade before my 
eyes. My mind wandered back to the old 
home and the dear ones left behind. Should 
I ever see them again? I finally awoke from 
my reverie, and, with Martin, began to 
acquaint myself with the steamer which was 
to be our home for the next ten days. 

The first thing was to locate our berths. 
These we found in the steerage and in the 
upper range, there being one range below ours. 
Crawling into these upper berths reminds one 
of chickens going to roost, since it takes a 
climb or scramble to reach the place. We 
soon discovered, however, that in some re- 
spects the upper berth is more desirable than 
the lower. While the lower berth is easier 
to get into, it catches the dust or refuse, or 
other articles, from the upper. Sometimes 
this seemingly trifling difference amounts to 
a great deal, especially when the one below 
can not tell at what moment the one above, 
because of that peculiar sensation known as 

On the Ocean 


seasickness, may cast his bread upon the 
waters, or upon the one below him. 

I can not say that I was pleased with the 
steerage accommodations, and should I ever 
again cross the ocean I would make any rea- 
sonable sacrifice to secure better. The same 
confusion of many tongues was here mani- 
fested, only, if possible, to a far greater de- 
gree, since the space was none too large for 
the great number who, like Martin and my- 
self, could not afford first or second class 
passage. There was also a disagreeable odor, 
peculiar to the steerage, arising from the dis- 
infectants and the breathing of hundreds of 
men, some of them too filthy to be among 
human beings. After locating our berths we 
rushed up on deck, declaring that we could 
never endure the steerage accommodations for 
ten days. But we did! there being no alter- 
native, we submitted to the inevitable. How- 
ever, we spent as little time as possible below, 
thus escaping part of the steerage life; to 
escape it all was impossible, and for several 
days after we left the steamer the peculiar 
odor remained with us. Even to-day, after 
nearly twenty years, I recall it with disgust. 

Another surprise awaited us, from a source 

7 6 

From Mines to Pulpit 

which up to this time had given us no anxiety 
— that of a food supply. It being about noon 
when the Celtic commenced her long journey, 
there was too much confusion to think about 
regular dinner, and those who had brought a 
lunch with them were fortunate to find a place 
in which to eat it in peace and comfort ; hence 
supper was the first regular meal served. In 
the steerage the men were lined up, each wait- 
ing his turn to be served. The stewards came 
down the line, each with a different dish, and 
in quick succession deposited a portion of the 
contents on the plates as they passed. Our 
turn soon came. Thump, thump ! The stew- 
ard hardly looked at our plates, stopping but 
for an instant in his onward march. Our 
plates were filled with a conglomeration, the 
ingredients of which were beyond my power 
to ascertain, either by sight, touch, taste, or 
smell. I looked at Martin, and saw that he 
was likewise making an investigation; and 
finally he shook his head, as if to say, "Too 
much for me!" After receiving some bread 
and coffee, we took our allowance, went up 
on deck emptied our plates (in the ocean), 
and sat down to our first meal, consisting of 
bread and coffee. We comforted ourselves 
with the hope that in the morning a more 

On the Ocean 


tempting and palatable bill of fare would be 
presented. But in this we were doomed to 
disappointment; for when morning came it 
was no better. 

By this time I was getting hungry for some- 
thing good and toothsome, at the same time 
longing for a meal of mother's plain cooking. 
The second day I saw the stewards carrying 
the steaming joints of roast beef and other 
substantial articles of food to the more fa- 
vored ones in the first and second cabins. It 
was intimated to us that for a small amount 
of money they would serve an extra course 
of diet. I had already made a passing ac- 
quaintance with one of them, and, at the first 
opportunity, presented to him the subject. I 
would not record the result of this interview 
if I thought that it would betray the steward 
who befriended us in that hour of dire ex- 
tremity; but since it happened so long ago 
that even the old Celtic has gone out of 
business and been replaced by a new one, I 
think no injustice will be done in recording 
it. Neither did the question of right or 
wrong at the time occur to me, although the 
caution taken later by the steward in serv- 
ing us meals made it plainly visible that he 
was violating the rules of his company. The 

78 From Mines to Pulpit 

agreement entered into with the steward was 
that three good meals a day would be served 
until the end of the voyage, provided five 
men could be found who would give the sum 
of ten shillings each— about two dollars and 
fifty cents, United States money. I could 
hardly afford the ten shillings ; but I reasoned 
that it would be better to land in a strange 
country with little or no money than with poor 
health — which I was sure would be the case 
if confined to steerage diet. The group of 
five was easily formed, and from this time 
to the end of the voyage no more trouble was 
experienced with the food. The steward se- 
lected a secluded place on the first deck, where 
regularly, three times a day, he brought us 
food fit for a king. 

For the first three days the weather was 
everything that could be desired. The sailors 
went about their work whistling, and every- 
body seemed cheerful and contented. But 
such a state of affairs was not to exist long, 
as we discovered about the third night. Every- 
body had turned in for the night, except those 
whose duty compelled them to be on the watch. 
In the steerage many were already asleep, and 
some were snoring loud enough to be heard 
the length of the quarters. True, the steam- 

On the Ocean 


ship was not running as smoothly as for the 
past three days ; but none of the inexperienced 
ones were expecting anything out of the or- 
dinary. We were not aware of the fact that 
up on deck the sailors had been busy for some 
time preparing for rough weather, which they 
knew was inevitable. Suddenly the steamer 
careened, as if struck by a cyclone, and then 
plunged headlong, as though going straight 
to "Davy Jones's locker/ 7 All on board were 
awakened as if by magic. Many sat upright 
in their bunks, only to be hurled back the next 
instant, as the steamer took another plunge 
in a different direction. It was evident that 
we had encountered a storm, the proportions 
of which the future alone could determine. 
We hoped it was only a "squall," and that it 
would pass away as suddenly as it came; but 
the hope was vain. As the night wore on the 
storm increased in fury. Sleep was impos- 
sible ; and those who had not been thrown out 
of their bunks were striving to follow the mo- 
tions of the steamer to prevent it. It was 
Dickens's experience lived over: "Before it is 
possible to make any arrangement at all com- 
patible with this novel state of things, the 
ship rights. Before one can say, 'Thank 
heaven!' she wrongs again. Before one can 


From Mines to Pulpit 

cry, 'She is wrong !' she seems to have started 
forward, and to be a creature actually run- 
ning of its own accord, with broken knees and 
falling legs, through every variety of hole 
and pitfall, and stumbling constantly. Before 
one can so much as wonder, she takes a high 
leap into the air. Before she has well done 
that, she takes a deep dive into the water. Be- 
fore she has gained the surface, she throws a 
somersault. The instant she is on her legs, 
she rushes backward. And so she goes on, 
staggering, heaving, wrestling, leaping, div- 
ing, jumping, pitching, throbbing, rolling, and 
rocking, and going through these movements, 
sometimes by turns and sometimes altogether, 
until one feels disposed to roar for mercy. A 
steward passes. 

" 'Steward !' 

" 'Sir?' 

" 'What is the matter ? What do you call 

" 'Rather a heavy sea on, sir, and a head 

" 'A head wind ! Imagine a human face 
upon the vessel's prow, with fifteen thousand 
Samsons in one bent upon driving her back, 
and hitting her exactly between the eyes when- 
ever she attempts to advance an inch. Imagine 

On the Ocean 


the ship herself, with every pulse and artery 
of her huge body swollen and bursting under 
this maltreatment, sworn to go on or die. Im- 
agine the wind howling, the sea roaring, the 
rain beating — all in furious array against her. 
Picture the sky both dark and wild, and the 
clouds, in fearful sympathy with the waves, 
making another ocean in the air. Add to all 
this the clattering on deck and down below; 
the tread of hurried feet; the loud, hoarse 
shouts of seamen; the gurgling in and out of 
water through the scuppers ; with, every now 
and then, the striking of a heavy sea upon the 
planks above, with the deep, dead, heavy 
sound of thunder heard within a vault, — and 
there is the headwind. I say nothing of what 
may be called the domestic noises of the ship — 
such as the breaking of glass and crockery, 
the tumbling down of stewards, the gambols 
overhead of loose casks and truant dozens of 
bottled porter, and the very remarkable and 
far from exhilarating sounds raised in their 
various staterooms by the seventy passengers 
who were too ill to get up to breakfast. The 
laboring of the ship in the troubled sea on 
this night I shall never forget. 'Will it ever 
be worse than this?' was a question I had 
often heard asked, when everything was slid- 


From Mines to Pulpit 

ing and bumping about, and when it certainly 
did seem difficult to comprehend the possibility 
of anything afloat being more disturbed with- 
out toppling over and going down. But what 
the agitation of a steam vessel is, on a bad 
winter's night in the wild Atlantic, is impos- 
sible for the most vivid imagination to con- 
ceive. To say that she is flung down on her 
side in the waves, with her masts dipping into 
them, and that, springing up again, she rolls 
over on the other side, until a heavy sea strikes 
her with the noise of a hundred great guns 
and hurls her back — that she stops, and stag- 
gers, and shivers, as though stunned, and then, 
with a violent throbbing at her heart, darts 
onward like a monster goaded into madness, 
to be beaten down, and battered, and crushed, 
and leaped on by the angry sea ; that thunder, 
lightning, hail, and rain, and wind, are all in 
fierce contention for the mastery; that every 
plank has its groan, every nail its shriek, and 
every drop of water in the great ocean its 
howling voice — is nothing. To say that all 
is grand, and all appalling and horrible in the 
least degree, is nothing. Words can not ex- 
press it. Thoughts can not convey it. Only 
a dream can call it up again, in all its fury, 
rage, and passion. 

On the Ocean 


"Of the outrageous antics performed by that 
ship next morning — which made bed a prac- 
tical joke, and getting up, by any process short 
of falling out, an impossibility — I say nothing. 
But anything like the utter dreariness and 
desolation that met my eyes when I literally 
'tumbled up' on deck at noon I never saw. 
Ocean and sky were all of one dull, heavy, 
uniform lead color. There was no extent of 
prospect even over the dreary waste that lay 
around us, for the sea ran high, and the hori- 
zon encompassed us like a large black hoop. 
Viewed from the air, or some tall cliff on 
shore, it would have been imposing and stu- 
pendous, no doubt; but seen from the wet 
and rolling deck, it only impressed one gid- 
dily and painfully. In the gale of last night 
the lifeboat had been crushed by one blow of 
the sea like a walnut-shell ; and there it hung 
dangling in the air, a mere fagot of crazy 
boards. The planking of the paddle-boxes 
had been torn sheer away. The wheels were 
exposed and bare, and they whirled and dashed 
their spray about the decks at random. Chim- 
ney, white with crusted salt; topmasts struck; 
stormsails set; rigging all knotted, tangled, 
wet, and drooping — a gloomier picture it would 
be hard to look upon !" 

84 From Mines to Pulpit 

This brief sketch, vivid and overdrawn as 
it may seem to the inexperienced, after all 
gives an imperfect description of a storm at 
sea. The misery, suffering, and anxiety ex- 
perienced by the passengers of the Celtic for 
three days and nights are beyond the powers 
of description of mortal man. The scene on 
deck, after the storm had abated, reminded 
me of pictures I had seen of battlefields after 
a long and bloody contest. The deck was 
strewn with wreckage, shivered into bits by 
the storm; scores of the seasick ones were 
lying around like wounded soldiers, some of 
them being so ill and miserable that they 
prayed for the ship to go down. I had been 
accustomed to say "Amen" when people 
prayed, but this time I did not respond; and 
for once in my life was thankful that the Lord 
did not answer every prayer. I was very for- 
tunate myself, having been sick but a short 
time, not to exceed half a day during the 
whole voyage; hence, I was able to wait on 
the less fortunate — Martin, especially, who 
was sick nearly the entire voyage, sometimes 
being under the doctor's care. 

We experienced no more rough weather, to 
the delight of all, and in a short time things 
had settled down to normal conditions. The 

On the Ocean 


days slipped away one by one, with nothing 
of interest to break the monotony, save that 
now and then a steamer would pass, home- 
ward bound. One was so close that we could 
plainly discern the passengers on the decks. 
These steamers were always hailed with de- 
light, and watched until they disappeared from 
view. Once a shark was sighted, following 
the steamer, watching for any palatable sub- 
stance which might be cast overboard. The 
presence of this monster was anything but 
pleasant, especially to those who were sick; 
and more especially when the sick ones re- 
membered that to the shark a human body is 
a great delicacy. I am frank to confess that, 
well and healthy as I was, I felt not a little 
nervous at the possibility of such a fate for 

Early on the morning of the 30th of Sep- 
tember, and on the tenth day out from Liver- 
pool, the cry of "Land ahead! land ahead!" 
came from the man on the lookout. The cry 
was instantly taken up by others, until in a 
few moments it had penetrated every part of 
the steamer. There was a hurried and gen- 
eral rush for the deck. Having secured a place 
close to the rail, I strained my eyes for the 
coveted sight. Yes ! there it was — a long, gray 


From Mines to Pulpit 

streak in the distant west. It seemed to lie 
across our path, and looked like a bank of 
gray clouds ; but it was land. I felt like shout- 
ing for joy ! We were in sight of the land 
of America, of which I had been so long 
dreaming ! 

But here again I fell into a reverie. Lean- 
ing against the rail, with my face toward the 
west, separate now by only a short span, I 
wondered what was before me in the country 
already in view. I was about to enter a 
strange country, almost penniless and home- 
less. Homeless! The word caused me to 
shudder. I had often known what it meant 
to be penniless, but was never before home- 
less! The steamer was now my home; but 
in a few hours I should be turned adrift even 
from that, in a new world and among 
strangers ! The prospect ahead seemed too 
gloomy for one so inexperienced. My heart 
sank within me! Despair would certainly 
have taken possession of me had I not just 
then remembered the promise of God, "I will 
never leave thee, nor forsake thee;" and, lift- 
ing my eyes to heaven, I implored the Father 
of the homeless for Divine guidance and pro- 
tection. I was called back from my medita- 
tions by the pealing of bells stealing softly 

On the Ocean 


over the water, and, looking, saw the lofty 
spires of the churches in the city of New York. 
The bells were calling the people to Divine 
worship, for it was Sunday morning. They 
sounded like a beautiful greeting of wel- 
come to the weather-beaten and storm-tossed 
steamer, and to us who were about to seek 
the hospitality of the New World, at the same 
time filling our hearts with courage and con- 
fidence. At twelve o'clock noon the Celtic 
was fastened to the docks in New York harbor, 
after a voyage of ten days to the hour. At 
one o'clock the passengers were permitted to 
go ashore. Martin and I found ourselves 
among a sea of strange faces and in a foreign 



Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of 
a good conrage; be not afraid, neither be thou dis- 
mayed; for the Iyord thy God is with thee whither- 
soever thou goest. — Josh, i, 9. 

After leaving the steamer we were de- 
tained for an hour in the custom-house. The 
customs officers demanded the opening of every 
trunk and carpetbag. Some were examined 
in a very short time; others, with contents 
of a more suspicious character, were turned 
inside out, much to the disgust of the owners. 
Martin and I stood in line waiting for the 
inspection. The officer came, looked into the 
open mouths of our carpetbags, satisfied him- 
self that they contained no taxable goods, 
placed a big chalk mark on them, and our 
baggage was passed. 

We were now at liberty to go wherever we 
pleased. But where should we go ? Naturally, 
we followed the crowd, going in the direction 
of the great gate of Castle Garden, leading 

In a Strange Land 89 

to the city. Imagine our surprise, when we 
reached the gate, to hear a man calling out 
our names. Who could it be? We first 
looked at each other, then at the man. It 
was evident that he did not know us, for we 
were close by his side, looking into his face; 
yet he continued to call our names. We had 
heard of "sharpers," and were prepared to 
meet them. I noticed he was calling the 
names of the five persons who comprised our 
"mess" on board the steamer ; but how did he 
get them? was the puzzling question. There 
was but one thing to do — to make ourselves 
known. By this time the five had responded 
to his call, and were standing by his side. 

"Follow me, gentlemen," he said in a very 
kind and assuring tone. 

Not willing to be led away by a stranger, 
like a sheep to the slaughter, I said, "Will 
you please have the kindness to tell us who 
you are, and where you intend taking us?" 

He very politely introduced himself as Mr. 
Roberts, representing one of the best hotels 
in the city. In answer to the question, "How 
did you get our names?" he informed us that 
the steward who had been our friend for the 
past ten days had come ashore as soon as 
the steamer touched the docks and supplied 

From Mines to Pulpit 

him with the list. We were still hesitating, 
when our old friend, the steward, came along, 
assured us that Mr. Roberts was all right, and 
that he would look after our interests honestly 
so long as we remained in the city of New 
York. Satisfied with this assurance, we were 
soon comfortably situated in the Roberts 
Hotel, which we discovered was a favorite 
hotel among the miners, especially English- 
men, since Mr. Roberts was himself an Eng- 
lishman. He treated us kindly, and gave us 
much valuable information and advice. 

Up to the time of landing, Martin and I 
intended going to the copper mines of Mich- 
igan; but on reaching New York we learned 
that several men had recently returned from 
there, having failed to get employment. This 
was discouraging, for there were men in the 
copper regions from our own home, and from 
whom we hoped to receive help in getting 
work. Colorado was my next choice; but as 
this was much farther, I began to count my 
money. After exchanging it for United States 
money, which was done at the hotel, I had 
fifty dollars. The fare from New York to 
Denver was forty-eight dollars, which would 
leave a balance of only two dollars. Martin 
was more fortunate, having about ten dollars 

In a Strange Land gi 

after the fare to Denver had been deducted. 
We consulted Mr. Roberts, who told us that 
from what he had heard from men coming 
from Colorado, our chances there would be 
better than at any other place within our reach. 
Acting upon this advice, we decided to go, and 
forthwith purchased tickets for Denver. Feel- 
ing somewhat relieved now this question was 
settled, and having the whole day before us, 
as our train did not leave until eight o'clock 
in the evening, we started out to see a few of 
the sights of New York City. True, we could 
not see much of such a large city in a few 
hours. I suggested, however, that we cross 
the Brooklyn Bridge, and accordingly we 
started in the direction of the bridge. Martin 
and I were alone by this time, the other young 
men who were with us on the steamer having 
already started for their destinations. We 
made our way through the crowded streets, 
and in due time we were standing at the en- 
trance. We were charged one cent each 
to walk over; but for that one cent we were 
allowed to gaze upon and walk over a won- 
derful structure measuring five thousand nine 
hundred and eighty-nine feet in length, and 
eighty-five feet from side to side. The two 
massive towers are two hundred and seventy- 

92 From Mines to Pulpit 

four feet in height. The center way, for 
pedestrians, fifteen feet wide; each of the two 
railway lines sixteen feet in width; and each 
of the two ways for wagons and other vehicles 
nineteen feet. The whole structure weighs 
thirty- four thousand tons, having required thir- 
teen years in construction, at a cost of fifteen 
million dollars and twenty human lives. It is 
not surprising that we came away with the im- 
pression that we had seen one of the greatest 
things in the world. 

The remainder of the day was spent in tak- 
ing hurried views of the magnificent buildings 
and parks that were within easy reach. The 
last hour was spent in preparing for the long 
journey that was before us. We purchased a 
liberal supply of bread, corned beef, and cheese, 
and with these, and plenty of drinking water 
on the cars, we were well supplied, for a time 
at least. 

After we had started on our trip to the 
Rocky Mountains, the first thing that attracted 
my attention was the convenience of the rail- 
way coaches. The construction was altogether 
different from the cars in England, where the 
traveler is securely boxed up and locked up in 
a small compartment with barely room to turn 
if all the seats are taken ; the door of the com- 

In a Strange Land 93 

partment being opened only at each regular 
stop of the train, and then only long enough 
to let passengers in or out. In America, I 
discovered, the seats were arranged on either 
side of the car for the whole length, each seat 
large enough for two, with an aisle running 
through the center of the car, a door at each 
end leading to the outside platform, which was 
never locked, leaving the passengers at perfect 
liberty to walk from one car to another, to- 
gether with other conveniences, such as toilet- 
room, dining-cars, and sleeping-cars for those 
who are so favorably situated as to pay the 
extra amount charged for such accommoda- 
tions. It is needless to say that we were well 
pleased with our quarters, and felt much hap- 
pier and more contented than in the steerage 
on board the Celtic. 

On, on we rushed over plains and across 
mountains. I was appalled at the vastness of 
the country, although as yet I had seen but 
little of it. In my own country no train could 
run half so long in one direction without run- 
ning into the sea, and we were as yet only 
skirting the borders of America's vast domain. 
W ednesday morning found us in Chicago, with 
just time enough to go from one depot to an- 
other. The transfer 'bus was waiting to take 

94 From Mines to Pulpit 

us across to the Chicago, Burlington and 
Quincy Depot. I shall always have occasion 
to remember that transfer ride; for when we 
were on the train, and the transfer 'bus had 
gone and was lost in the whirl of Chicago, I 
remembered that my best and only hat was 
left in the 'bus, and I had only a small travel- 
ing cap. It was useless to grieve over the lost 
hat, and I only hoped that it would fall into 
the hands of some one who needed it worse 
than myself, if such a one could be found. One 
thing was certain, however, I could not pur- 
chase a new one with the amount of cash on 
hand, which by this time had been reduced to 
one dollar, and two days at least between us 
and Denver. There was no time for sight- 
seeing in Chicago. I have only a dim recol- 
lection of crowded streets, tall buildings, and 
a network of railways, which looked to me 
worse than a puzzle-map, over which our train 
went gliding along. Once free from this net- 
work of railways, and out in the open country, 
with Chicago fading away in the distance, our 
train plunged ahead, and we were bounding 
away over the plains. 

"Twenty minutes for dinner!" yelled the 
brakeman as the train pulled into a large city ; 
and, looking out of the window, I saw men and 

In a Strange Land 95 

women rushing toward the dining-room. Din- 
ner ! I thought, at the same time feeling a pe- 
culiar sensation in the region of the stomach. 
I had not partaken of a prepared meal since 
leaving New York. Martin fared no better, 
save once or twice he indulged in a cup of 
steaming-hot coffee, a luxury I did not enjoy 
from the time we left New York until we 
reached our destination in the Rocky Moun- 
tains, five days later. Instead of going to the 
dining-room, we stepped to the nearest grocery 
and bought a new supply of bread and corned 
beef, which lasted until the end of the journey. 

Early on the morning of the 5th of October 
found us standing on the platform of the Union 
Depot in Denver, Col. We learned that the 
nearest mining camp was Central City, about 
forty miles up the mountains. It was at this 
time that Martin's surplus cash came into good 
use. My two dollars by this time had dwindled 
to five cents, which I had determined at all 
hazards to save until the end of my journey 
to purchase a postage stamp to send the news 
of my safe arrival to my parents and friends 
at home. The next train bore us away to the 
regions of the gold mines. 

We entered the Rocky Mountains at Golden, 
through what is known as Clear Creek Canon, 

9 6 

From Mines to Pulpit 

a description of which will be given in an- 
other chapter. Leaving Clear Creek at Forks 
Creek, the train follows the branch to the right, 
known as "Gregory Gulch/' which leads to 
Black Hawk and Central City. Black Hawk, 
about eleven miles from Forks Creek, is where 
we had the first glimpse of the gold mines. 
The sides of the mountains are honeycombed 
with prospect holes, made by the miners in 
search of the gold-bearing rock. Numerous 
stamp-mills are also located here, it being a 
place where streams of water meet, without 
which the mills could not operate. Central City 
is one mile farther up the gulch, four miles by 
rail. The difference in the distance is made 
by the railway winding around the mountains 
and in switching back and forth in order to 
climb the grade. 

We reached Central City at noon. This time 
we were at the end of our journey — at least 
the end of our railway journey — as our means 
for this mode of traveling were entirely ex- 
hausted. We lost no time in looking for some 
of our own countrymen, and, to our glad sur- 
prise, found several, some of whom were from 
the same town as ourselves. We were greatly 
indebted to Mr. James Rowett, an old friend 
of my father, who took an unusual interest 

In a Strange Land 

in us, securing for us boarding in a private 
family, and, later on, assisting us in getting 
employment. The cost of board was twenty- 
three dollars a month, which amount, fortu- 
nately for us, was not required in advance. 

The sudden transition from the level of the 
sea to an altitude of eight thousand four hun- 
dred feet was not without its effect. We were 
almost prostrated by the least exertion. This 
was followed by frequent hemorrhages of the 
head — discharging at the nose. In a few days, 
however, this passed away, and we were as 
well as ever. After a few days' rest we were 
ready for work, which, through the help of 
friends, we secured in the "Gregory Mine," 
at two dollars and twenty-five cents a day. 
Thus in twenty days we had traveled over five 
thousand miles by sea and land, rested one day 
and a half in New York, four days in Central 
City, and were now working in the gold mines 
of Colorado. 



The eastern sky is blushing red, 

The distant hill-top glowing; 
The brook is murmuring in its bed, 

In idle frolics flowing; 
'T is time the pickax and the spade, 

And iron "torn" were ringing, 
And with ourselves, the mountain stream, 

A song of labor singing. 

The mountain air is cool and fresh, 

Unclouded skies bend o'er us, 
Broad places, rich in gold, 

Lie temptingly before us, 
We ask no magic Midas' wand, 

Nor wizard-rod divining, 
The pickax, spade, and brawny hand 

Are sorcerers in mining. 

—J. Swim. 

As stated in the previous chapter, our first 
place of employment was in the Gregory Mine. 
Martin and I were placed together to work on 
a rich deposit of ore. The ore contained a 
large per cent of copper, which, to the "green- 
horn/' as the newcomers were called, looked 

Gold Mines of Colorado 

like gold. We were as easily deceived as hun- 
dreds of others before us had been, thinking 
several times that we saw large pieces of pure 
gold; but we soon found out the truth of the 
old adage, "Not all that glitters is gold." 
While the ore was very rich in gold in the re- 
fractory rock, it yielded the precious metal only 
through the smelting process. After a few 
weeks in the Gregory Mine, we were trans- 
ferred to the Fisk Mine, under the same man- 
ager, and given a contract to sink a winze 
— an intermediate shaft connecting two levels 
in the mine. There were four of us in the 
group, two working by day, and two by night. 
Should I live a hundred years I shall never 
forget this place, since it was here an accident 
happened that almost ended Martin's earthly 
career. Like nearly all accidents in mining, it 
occurred in a very unexpected manner. We 
had not proceeded far with the winze when gas 
was encountered, a deadly poison coming out 
of the cracks in the vein, which were numerous 
at this place. The gas was driven out by 
pumping in large quantities of fresh air at in- 
tervals. One night I was stationed at the 
windlass, hoisting the dirt from the bottom of 
the winze, which at this time was twenty-five 
feet deep. Martin was at the bottom filling 

Lof C. 


From Mines to Pulpit 

the bucket. Suddenly one of the heavy boards 
fell out of the platform beneath my feet. 
Quick action on my part saved me from falling 
to the bottom of the winze. There was no time 
to give warning to Martin. The heavy board, 
measuring eight feet in length, reached the bot- 
tom with a dull thud, instantly followed by a 
groan from the lips of Martin. I knew he had 
received a terrific blow and was badly hurt. 

"Martin ! Martin !" I called. "Get into the 
bucket, and I will hoist you to the level." 

Imagine my horror when I saw his body 
fall limp, and apparently lifeless, to the bot- 
tom of the winze. To add to the dreadful 
situation, the candle was beginning to burn 
low, a sure sign that the gas was coming in. 
There was not a moment to lose. The accumu- 
lating gas alone would render him unconscious, 
and, if he were not quickly removed, result 
in his certain death. There was no help nearer 
than the next level, which meant to go three 
hundred feet back to the main shaft, one hun- 
dred feet down, and then back into the other 
workings. To accomplish all this, and get 
back in time to get him out alive, was impos- 
sible. To make matters still worse, there was 
no ladder in the winze. In a great deal less 
time than it takes to record it I securely blocked 

Gold Mines of Colorado ioi 

the windlass, pumped in a fresh supply of air, 
grasped the rope with hands and feet, and the 
next instant was at the bottom beside the pros- 
trate and almost lifeless form. The blood was 
streaming from an ugly gash on his head 
where the board had struck him. The smell 
of the deadly gas could be easily detected. 
Lifting Martin to a standing posture, at the 
same time shaking him into a state of semi- 
consciousness, I tried to inform him of his 
danger. He seemed to understand. Then, re- 
sorting to the only possible means of escape, 
I placed his feet in the bucket and fastened his 
hands around the rope, at the same time try- 
ing to impress upon his mind that his life de- 
pended upon his holding on to the rope. He 
tried to assure me that he understood the sit- 
uation, but his speech was broken and ram- 
bling. Leaving him to his fate, or his salva- 
tion, which a few moments would determine, 
I hurriedly began to climb the rope. In a few 
seconds I was standing on the platform ready 
to hoist. After informing Martin that I was 
ready, and telling him to hold on for life, I 
slowly began to turn the windlass. Would 
he be saved; or would he once more become 
unconscious, and fall to certain death? The 
thought of such a horrible death befalling my 

102 From Mines to Pulpit 

friend and comrade made me desperate. I 
could tell by the weight that he was still in the 
bucket. The gas had already extinguished the 
candle at the bottom, and was slowly creeping 
up the winze. Will he hold on? A groan es- 
caped his lips, which made me believe his 
strength was exhausting and that he was about 
to fall. Faster and faster I turned, the per- 
spiration dripping from my face. One more 
turn ! "Thank heaven !" said I, "he is safe !" 

The fresh air and a little cold water soon 
restored him to full consciousness, and surgical 
aid was procured. The wound proved to be 
in the scalp, four inches in length, no injury 
having been done to the skull or brain save the 
tremendous shock. Several stitches, however, 
were required to replace the scalp. After a 
few weeks' rest and proper treatment, Martin 
was none the worse for having passed through 
the thrilling experience. 

We soon discovered, however, that the 
poisonous gas is the miner's deadliest enemy, 
and, after the narrow escape in the Fisk Mine, 
tried to avoid it, sometimes refusing remunera- 
tive positions rather than expose ourselves to 
its deadly effects. A short time before our ar- 
rival in Central City three men — father and 
two sons — were overcome and suffocated by 

Gold Mines of Colorado 103 

gas. The father had descended an old shaft, 
and, failing to return at the proper time, 
one of his sons went down to ascertain the 
cause of delay. He likewise failed to return. 
Great anxiety was manifested by those on the 
surface when it became known that there was 
gas in the shaft. The second son determined 
to go down, and, if possible, rescue his father 
and brother. He was warned by those who 
were more experienced not to make the at- 
tempt, since it was certain that the two un- 
fortunate men had been overcome by the gas 
and were already beyond all human aid; but, 
in spite of warnings, the young man disap- 
peared down the fatal shaft, alas! never to 
return alive. An air-pump was procured from 
a neighboring mine, and was soon driving the 
gas to the surface. As soon as it was safe to 
descend, the three lifeless forms were brought 
to the surface, and three new graves were made 
in the little cemetery under the shadow of the 
great mountain. 

Another serious accident of this nature hap- 
pened during our stay in this place. Two men 
were descending an abandoned mine. They 
had not gone far, not far enough even to 
"strike a light/' as it is the custom to descend 
one or more ladders before procuring a light, 

104 From Mines to Pulpit 

when Thomas Bailey, who had taken the lead, 
and who was an experienced miner, detected 
the peculiar odor of gas. Quickly he called 
to his companion to retreat ; but it was too late 
for Mr. Bailey. The gas instantly robbed him 
of his senses and strength. There was a deep 
groan, followed by a rushing noise, such as is 
made by the falling of a heavy weight through 
space. The unfortunate man had fallen into 
the yawning shaft and to his death. 

Samuel Lee, of Andrews, Ind., a cousin to 
the woman who later became my wife, met his 
death in a similar manner. He, with several 
others, were driven from their place of labor 
in the Durant Mine, at Aspen, Col., by gas. 
He was the last one hurrying out of the death- 
trap, and was almost safe, only a few feet from 
the top of the ladder, when, in the same peculiar 
manner, he was rendered helpless, and fell back 
into the pit of death, his neck being broken 
by the fall. His remains were shipped to An- 
drews, Ind., the home of his childhood, and 
laid to rest in the village graveyard. 

The numerous accidents and deaths caused 
by the poisonous gas have put the miners on 
their guard. Before descending an abandoned 
mine or entering any portion of the mine where 
gas is known to exist, the miner makes the in- 

Gold Mines of Colorado 105 

fallible test of lowering a burning candle. 
Where gas exists the candle will invariably 
cease to burn, and no man who values his life 
will enter a place where a light is extinguished. 

It soon came my turn to pass through an 
experience which brought me face to face with 
death. We were engaged in removing some 
ore from a chute. The ore above our heads 
was securely held in place by large timbers, 
known as the "stull." After several car- 
loads had been taken out, the ore failed to 
come into the chute. It was my duty to go 
up and find out the cause, and, if possible, re- 
move it. Climbing up the end of the stull, I 
discovered that the place must be approached 
with great caution. Hundreds of feet above 
a man was engaged in throwing down heavy 
loads of ore into this very chute. Several 
minutes elapsed between each downpour of 
rocks. I waited until a shower of rocks had 
come thundering down, and everything was 
still, then rushed in to look at the chute. To 
my horror, I discovered that the ore had run 
out from below, and had formed a temporary 
arch beneath my feet. Of course, my first 
thought was to beat a hasty retreat ; but before 
I had time to put my thoughts into practice 
there was a rumbling and grinding beneath 

lo6 From Mines to Pulpit 

my feet, and the next instant I was mixed up 
with the falling rocks, and on my way down 
the chute. Bruised and bleeding, I reached 
the bottom. Fortunately, I was not rendered 
unconscious. Instantly my mind ascended 
hundreds of feet, and I imagined I saw a man 
ready to throw in a load of rocks which would 
crush me beneath their ponderous weight. But 
there was no time for reflection. Procuring a 
light — for the fall had extinguished my candle, 
leaving me in total darkness — I hastened to 
remove from around my legs the huge rocks 
which securely held me fast. It was a des- 
perate and unequal struggle, some of the rocks 
being too heavy to lift; but, with a strength 
which seemed to have been superhuman, I 
rolled them aside, and, once free, made a dash 
for life and a place of safety, reaching it just 
in time to evade the rocks as they came crash- 
ing down in the very spot where a few mo- 
ments before I was held a prisoner. Fortu- 
nately, my injuries did not prove serious, and 
after two weeks of rest and care, I was ap- 
parently as well as ever. I can scarcely think 
of the thrilling experience without a shudder, 
and often wonder if it, with others of a like 
nature, are not responsible for the sapping of 

Gold Mines of Colorado 


the nervous forces and the early appearance 
of gray hairs. 

About this time a great trial, and, I may add, 
a deep sorrow, came to me in the parting with 
Martin. He became tired of mining in the 
Rockies, and, having friends in the State of 
Michigan, at their request decided to join them. 
We had been separated scarcely for an hour 
since we left England, and had become greatly 
attached to each other. It was with a heavy 
heart that I bade him good-bye. A few let- 
ters passed between us, then all trace of Martin 
was lost, and, although nearly twenty years 
have passed, to this day we never again met. 

Like others who have gone to the gold fields, 
I caught the "gold fever," and wanted to get 
rich in a hurry. This could not be accom- 
plished by working at day's wages, but by 
prospecting and striking a rich claim. Pros- 
pecting is the first step in mining. The pros- 
pector presents a very striking appearance as 
he starts out on his search for gold. In the 
early days, the first thing necessary was a 
stout burro, a mountain donkey, to carry the 
miner's outfit, which consisted of cooking 
utensils, provisions, and all the tools needed 
for the expedition. In some regions, where the 

loS From Mines to Pulpit 

miner entered the domain of the bear and 
mountain lions, a good rifle is necessary. 
Sometimes days and weeks are spent in pass- 
ing through long gulches, deep canons, and in 
climbing steep mountains, until some day the 
prospector cries out: "Eureka! Eureka !" "I 
have found it ! I have found it !" His experi- 
enced eye has found a piece of rock, known in 
the mining world as "float/' or he has dis- 
covered a "cropping," which means the top 
of the vein cropping out at the surface. If the 
find is the cropping, of course the vein is al- 
ready discovered ; but if the specimen is a piece 
of float, the vein must be looked for farther 
up the mountain-side. Several pieces of float 
are pulverized in a mortar, washed in a pan, 
and the value thus ascertained. If the wash- 
ing shows only a few specks of gold it is suffi- 
cient to prove to the prospector that he is in 
the mineral belt, and a search is at once be- 
gun for the vein. Stones do not roll uphill, 
and the presence of the float indicates that 
farther up the mountain-side is the vein which, 
in some remote period of the past, at the bid- 
ding of Dame Nature, cast forth a little of 
her store as a guide for man to vast treasures 
hidden in the dark recesses of the earth. 
Hence, the vein is discovered by following up 

Gold Mines of Colorado 109 

the float, the miner carefully examining the 
nature of the loose stones as he slowly 
progresses up the mountain-side. Finally he 
reaches a place where no more float can be 
found, and this is sufficient proof that he has 
passed the vein. He retraces his steps to 
where he discovered the last piece of float, 
and cuts into the side of the mountain with 
pick and shovel until the vein is "tapped." If 
the vein proves to be a valuable one, the claim 
is located and recorded according to law. The 
first ore taken out is known as surface quartz. 
This quartz varies in depth, sometimes going 
down one hundred feet or more. The gold 
miner in early days secured his wealth from 
this surface quartz, the gold being easily sepa- 
rated from the rock by washing or the stamp- 
mill. When the surface quartz no longer 
yielded gold in paying quantities, the claim 
was abandoned and new fields were sought. 
Below the surface quartz is found the "re- 
fractory rock/' or smelting ore, as it is com- 
monly called. By early prospectors this was 
regarded as worthless, because no process for 
separating the gold from the rock had been 
found, or, if known, was not yet in use in the 
Rocky Mountains. To-day, by the aid of the 
chemist and the smelter, this once worthless 

HO From Mines to Pulpit 

refractory rock is yielding millions of dollars 
every month. 

My own experience in prospecting was any- 
thing but encouraging. I spent about six 
weeks, with two others, in search of the il- 
lusive metal, but failed to strike it rich. If the 
hardships and deprivations encountered during 
those six weeks might be recorded, I could 
easily fill a small volume. When our resources 
were exhausted, we returned to the regular 
routine of daily work in the gold mines. I 
made other attempts later, but each, like the 
first, proved futile. 

Before leaving this chapter, I will give a 
few startling figures concerning the vast min- 
eral wealth of our country, especially in the 
Western portions. But few, comparatively 
speaking, have a correct idea of the mineral 
wealth of this Nation. We learn from a re- 
liable source that, "from 1849 to 1889, forty 
years, the United States produced, in precious 
metals, $2,730,077,152/'* The gold produc- 
tion of the United States for 1898 was $64,- 
463,000, the largest part of this vast amount 
coming from west of the Mississippi River, 
Colorado alone giving between twenty and 
thirty millions. While considering this enor- 

* *■ Our Country," by Josiah Strong. 

Gold Mines of Colorado 1 1 1 

mous wealth coming from the West, and which 
is wonderfully increasing every year, it is diffi- 
cult to believe that the following words were 
uttered by Daniel Webster before the American 
Senate. Said he : "What do you want with this 
vast worthless area, this region of savages and 
wild beasts, of deserts and cactus, of shifting 
sands and prairie dogs? To what use could 
we ever put the great deserts of these great 
mountains, impenetrable and covered with eter- 
nal snows ? What can we ever hope to do with 
the Western Coast, rockbound, cheerless, and 
uninviting, and not a harbor on it? I will 
never vote one cent from the public treasury 
to place the Pacific Coast one inch nearer Bos- 
ton than it now is." To-day we say, What 
a great mistake! Little did the great states- 
man think that in a few years from the time 
he made the memorable speech the "worthless 
area" would be pouring millions into the Na- 
tion's treasury. For instance, to quote again 
from "Our Country," "the Comstock Lode in 
1877 produced $37,062,252. Those twelve in- 
significant looking holes in the side of the 
mountain yielded more wealth that year than 
3,890,000 acres planted to corn the same year. 
That is, those few square rods on the surface 
in Nevada were as large as all the cornfields 

1 1 2 From Mines to Pulpit 

of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, 
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, col- 

To those who would like to know from 
whence the gold comes, and the amount pro- 
duced by each country, the following report 
from the director of the United States Mint 
will be of interest, and may be taken as reliable. 
The report is for the year 1898: 


North America: 

United States, $64,463,000 

Mexico, 8,500,000 

Canada and Newfoundland, . 13,838,700 

Africa, 80,428,000 

Australasia, 64,860,800 

Europe : 

Russia, 25,463,400 

Austria-Hungary, 1,859,500 

Germany, 73,600 

Norway, ... 

Sweden, 83,600 

Italy, 165,900 

Spain, 37,900 

Portugal, 10,400 

Greece, ... 

Turkey, 7,300 

Servia, 13,300 

France, ... 

Great Britain, 6,600 

Gold Mines of Colorado 

South America : 

• • • $137)700 


• • • 1,583,700 

. . . 3 8 >5oo 

. . . 473)7oo 


. . . 7,781,500 

Bast Indies (British), . 

. . . 660,900 





Ivong years ago I wandered here, 
In the midsummer of the year, — 

Life's summer too; 
A score of horsemen here we rode, 
The mountain world its glories showed, 

All fair to view. 

These scenes in glowing colors drest, 
Mirrored the life within my breast, 

Its world of hopes; 
The whispering woods and fragrant breeze 
That stirred the grass in verdant seas 

On billowy slopes. 

And glistening crag in sunlit sky, 

Mid snowy clouds piled mountains high, 

Were joys to me ; 
My path was o'er the prairie wild, 
Or here on grander mountain side, 

To choose, all free. 

—J. C. Fremont. 

I reauze; how difficult is the task to portray 
the magnificent scenery of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, since no pen can describe a thousandth 
part of this majestic glory as it appears to 

In the Rocky Mountains 115 

the eye of the observer. I shall never forget 
when for the first time I stood in the midst of 
the awful gradeur. Standing where I could 
scan the peaks for miles around piercing the 
blue of heaven, a feeling of awe and reverence 
crept over me. I seemed but a mere atom 
amidst the creation of the Eternal God. Bar- 
ing my head, I gave utterance to the language 
of the poet: 

" Before the hills in order stood, 
Or earth received her frame, 
From everlasting thou art God, 
To endless years the same." 

It was morning when we entered the State 
of Colorado. The first sight of the Rocky 
Mountains was inspiring. Old Pike's Peak 
loomed up in the distance at an elevation of 
fourteen thousand feet, like a grim old sentinel 
on guard. Our first entrance into the Rockies 
was through Clear Creek Canon, eighteen 
miles from Denver. The canon has the ap- 
pearance of a huge gash cleft in the moun- 
tains, at the bottom of which is laid the tiny 
rail, as it appears to be in comparison with the 
greatness around it, and for nearly sixty miles 
follows its winding path. This canon is said 
to be one of the most picturesque in America. 
Nature is here seen in her most rugged and 

1 1 6 From Mines to Pulpit 

beautiful form. The slippery walls are within 
easy reach at times as we pass by. The over- 
hanging rocks seem to frown on us as we in- 
trude into their almost sacred domain. At 
Forks Creek, twenty-seven miles from Denver, 
a branch of the canon turns to the right, and 
leads to Black Hawk, Central City, and James 
Peak. My first trip was through the branch 
to Central City; but later it was my pleasure 
to follow, with an excursion party, the main 
canon from Forks Creek to the base of Gray's 
Peak. Leaving the Forks, we plunged deeper 
into the weird crevasses. Sometimes the sun 
would add glory to the scene; then suddenly 
the shadows of evening seemed to fall as the 
towering peaks shut out the rays of light. As 
we emerged from the gloomy canon out on a 
beautiful plateau of nearly one hundred acres 
the scene suddenly changed. Nature could not 
have made a better place for the abode of man ; 
neither were her children blind to the numer- 
ous advantages presented, and to-day the neat 
little city of Idaho Springs is situated at this 
lovely place, surrounded by some of the most 
magnificent scenery in the world. Numerous 
mineral springs abound, and many invalids 
have found great benefit from the healing 
waters, while veins of gold and silver are inter- 

In the Rocky Mountains 117 

woven through the mountains that slope back 
in every direction from the city. The altitude 
at Denver is 5,203 feet; at Idaho Springs it 
is 7,543, a rise of 2,340 feet in thirty-eight 
miles. The grade at some points is 217 feet 
to the mile. 

The next town is Georgetown, fourteen 
miles farther up the canon. As we advanced 
the scenery grew in magnificence. The rails 
looked like silvery threads running zigzag up 
the canon, the train, like a thing of life, try- 
ing to follow the winding track, which some- 
times looped back as it rounded a sharp curve, 
at the same time giving the people in the first 
coach back of the engine a full view of the 
engineer and fireman in the cab; then away 
it would dash to the other side of the canon; 
the next instant it would be creeping along a 
narrow shelf, far above the dancing stream, 
and leaning toward the rocky walls, which rise 
hundreds of feet in sheer perpendicular. And 
so on it goes, puffing, and hissing, and gliding, 
and darting, and leaping, and swaying, till the 
end of the journey is reached. 

We were so enraptured with the scenery that 
we had not noticed the time nor distance. * We 
soon reached a point in the canon where the 
valley became wider, until it looked as if the 

1 1 8 From Mines to Pulpit 

place had been robbed of a number of huge 
mountains ; but this was nature's work again ; 
another place for her children. The city of 
Georgetown was before us, also beautifully 
situated between the sloping mountains. Here 
are numerous mills crushing the ore, while up 
the mountain-sides in the mines men are strug- 
gling for the precious metals. 

Hanging above Georgetown is the famous 
world-renowned "Loop," known as one of the 
most wonderful pieces of railway engineering 
in the world. Leaving Georgetown, the train 
climbs the steep grade running under the great 
viaduct, and rises until the city is left far be- 
low. By the aid of a rough bridge we 
crossed to the other side of the canon. 
We are now scaling the side of the moun- 
tain and rushing toward the city, at the same 
time leaving it farther and farther below. A 
sharp turn, and we are on the high bridge 
nearly one hundred feet directly above the 
track we passed over a few moments ago. 
This bridge takes us to the other side of the 
canon and on to the "Big Fill," seventy-six 
feet high, where the curve was too sharp to 

Another short turn around the mountain, 
with still another view of Georgetown hun- 

In the Rocky Mountains 119 

dreds of feet below, and all the tracks over 
which we have passed in plain view, each seem- 
ing to have no relation to the other, and be- 
fore us is another beautiful little valley dotted 
with neat homes, some of which are also cling- 
ing to the sides of the mountains. Silver 
Plume, as this place is called, is crouching at 
the base of huge mountains, so lofty that in 
winter a part of the village is excluded from 
the sun. There is also great danger of snow- 
slides. Thousands of tons of snow overhang 
the village, threatening the inhabitants with 
death. In 1898 an avalanche of snow broke 
loose from the distant peaks, and came tear- 
ing down, dealing death and destruction in its 
path. A part of the village, with its inhabit- 
ants, was swept out of existence. The chief 
industry is silver mining, the camp having 
taken its name from the white metal which is 
found in large quantities in the sides of the 

But we have not yet reached the end of this 
wonderful canon. Still onward and upward, 
the scenery increasing in grandeur, until Gray- 
mont is reached, where we find ourselves 
nearly sixty miles from Denver and at an alti- 
tude of 9,771 feet above the level of the sea. 
This is the end of the railway. There is not 

120 From Mines to Pulpit 

much of interest in Graymont itself, save the 
magnificent scenery around, but it is at this 
place where one gets an inspiring vision, the 
memory of which will last a lifetime. I can 
not express the emotion of my heart as I stood 
for the first time and beheld Gray's Peak, that 
beacon of the range towering serene, silent, 
and cold, its snow-capped summit piercing the 
blue sky, 14,441 feet above the shores of the 

The journey to the peak is made on horse- 
back or on foot. To the inexperienced traveler 
the climbing of the peak looks like the work 
of an hour or less; but from three to four 
hours are necessary to reach the summit. Our 
time at Graymont was very limited, much too 
short to allow us to make the ascent. I must, 
therefore, leave the description of sunrise on 
Gray's Peak to an eye-witness: "When you 
see the mountain-tops begin to flush, and 
tremble, and glow, and the warm, soft color 
gently steal down into the valleys far below, 
disclosing unimagined distances, all aflame 
with light, you will have known what it is to 
see the sunrise on Gray's Peak. Description 
fails to give an idea of the majestic grouping 
of mountain light, and snowy range, of inter- 
mingling valley and cloud-rifts, towering pine, 

In the Rocky Mountains 121 

and the gorgeous gushes of sunshine, suddenly 
falling like a cascade over all. The vision 
surely, from these supreme heights, is beyond 

Before leaving Graymont I bought a half 
interest in a young Rocky Mountain eagle, 
W. F. Stevens, son of our Sunday-school 
superintendent, purchasing the other half. 
The eagle was captured high up among the 
crags of Gray Peak. Although scarcely able 
to fly, his wings measured over five feet from 
tip to tip. We kept him for several weeks, 
until one day we watched him as he stretched 
his wings and pierced the heavens with his 
keen eye, then began to beat himself against 
the bars of his prison as if longing for a chance 
to soar away to his native eyrie ; agreeing, we 
opened the door of the pen, and set the cap- 
tive free. 

Before leaving this portion of the Rockies, 
a little trip to James Peak should be men- 
tioned. The party consisted of George Landis, 
Sherman McAlister, and myself. Our plan 
was to reach the peak at dawn, in order to 
witness the sunrise, since mountain scenery 
can not be seen at its best at any other time. 
James Peak is ten miles from Central City, 
its snowy summit being plainly visible from 

122 From Mines to Pulpit 

this place. We left Central City at four o'clock 
one afternoon, with our blankets strapped on 
our backs ; for, notwithstanding it was the 
middle of July, the eternal snows of James 
Peak make a blanket a very necessary article, 
even in summer. A good supply of provisions 
was also taken, since many hours would elapse 
before we could return. It was dark when we 
reached the vicinity of the peak, but in the 
moonlight the gloomy old sentinel could be dis- 
tinctly seen towering thousands of feet above 
us. Footsore and tired, we selected a suitable 
place to camp under the shadow of a huge 
rock, and to wait until one o'clock, when the 
final journey to the peak would begin. Soon 
the crackling of pine knots could be heard, 
and we sat down to a regular campers' supper. 
It was necessary to keep up a fire all night 
to ward off the prowling beasts ; for we were 
in the domain of the bear and mountain lion, 
and were not very anxious for their company. 
It was for this reason that we camped below 
the timber-line. A little farther up no fuel 
could be procured, and to spend a night in 
such a region without a fire would be the height 
of folly. We were soon wrapped in our 
blankets, with our faces turned toward the 
stars of a clear, Colorado sky, and enjoying 

In the Rocky Mountains 


the comforts— or discomforts — of the adven- 
turer's life. I do n't think any of us slept very 
much ; I know I did not, but felt rested when 
the time came to break camp. The moon had 
sunk down behind the mountains, making them 
stand out in bold profile, at the same time cast- 
ing a gloom down the valley below. There 
was no mistaking the peak, for it loomed up 
before us far above the neighboring moun- 
tains, and seemed only a short distance away. 
We were not deceived as to the distance, how- 
ever, and knew that we had before us at least 
two hours of difficult climbing. There was no 
beaten path to follow from the side which we 
approached the peak, and not until after we 
had passed through a thrilling experience, and 
spent three long hours in reaching the summit, 
did we find out that from the other side we 
could have made the ascent in much less time 
and with less strength. On we went, over 
rocks and crags, several times in danger of 
being hurled to the bottom of the valley, which 
had now taken on the proportions of an abyss. 
We were above the timber-line, and in the 
region of eternal snow and ice. The higher 
we went the more difficult the climbing. It 
became painfully evident to us that we had 
chosen the most difficult course to conquer the 

124 From Mines to Pulpit 

towering giant before us. Suddenly we came 
to a place which seemed to make farther 
progress impossible. The torrents of water, 
which at times dash down the mountain-side, 
had been suddenly arrested by the strong hand 
of winter, and formed into a solid pillar of 
ice, reaching from the summit to hundreds of 
feet below. To turn back and make the ascent 
by another route would take too much time, 
and would deprive us of the very thing for 
which we came — sunrise on James Peak. Al- 
ready gray streaks were making their appear- 
ance in the east. The great dome was almost 
directly above us, and seemed to challenge us 
to step on its crest. We determined to cross 
the ice-chute, which was about twenty feet in 
width. Never shall I forget that perilous at- 
tempt! Crawling on hands and knees, some- 
times clinging to ribs of ice, then to a pro- 
jecting rock, and sometimes to absolutely noth- 
ing; to slide off would mean certain death. 
I have read of men scaling the Matterhorn, 
and other perilous peaks; but they were pre- 
pared for the dangerous task. The dread of 
those few moments on that slippery pillar of 
ice meant more to me than the climbing of the 
Matterhorn to the more experienced climber. 
At last we were safely over, and once more 

In the Rocky Mountains 125 

began to climb the rugged side of the moun- 
tain. The gray of early dawn had settled down 
upon the numerous peaks. It seemed as if we 
would never reach the top. To say that we 
were tired would not be just; we were nearly 
exhausted from fatigue. But we could not 
now be defeated. Wearily we dragged our 
feet up the rough way until, almost overcome, 
we planted them upon the hoary head of James 
Peak, fourteen thousand feet above the level 
of the sea. We were fully repaid for every 
effort made to gain this wondrous height. The 
scene was one of awful grandeur, and was 
increasing in splendor moment by moment. 
As the day advanced the distant peaks for 
miles around were bursting into view, like 
giants arousing from their slumber. Then, 
O glorious sight ! the higher peaks in the dis- 
tance became tipped with pure gold. From 
peak to peak the golden hues were flitting with 
lightning rapidity, when suddenly we, too, 
were bathing in the glorious sunlight, while 
the dusk of early dawn was still overshadow- 
ing the valley beneath our feet. We had wit- 
nessed the sunrise on James Peak. We re- 
mained on the summit about two hours, all the 
time wrapped in our blankets, and drank in the 
heavenly vision; for surely such soul-enrap- 

126 From Mines to Pulpit 

turing scenery is a foretaste of the glories of 

Before we had left the peak the sun had 
risen high enough to look over the mountain 
tops, and was kissing the tall pine-trees thou- 
sands of feet down the valley. Everything 
around us and beneath us was in a blaze of 
glory. The inspiration received from such a 
sight can not die with the years, but will last 
a lifetime. We were also impressed with the 
thought that these monuments of God's cre- 
ative power were not made for their beautiful 
scenery alone* but, like all of his works, have 
a more important mission to perform. They 
are nature's great reservoirs, hoarding up the 
snows of winter, only to send sparkling streams 
of water dashing down their rugged sides in 
summer, on through the valleys and out on 
the plains, transforming the dreary waste into 
a beautiful garden of paradise, where waving 
fields of golden grain and tasseled corn in 
rich abundance bloom. Then, penetrating 
into their rocky hearts, we see the answer to 
the inspired writer: "Surely there is a vein 
for the silver, and a place for gold where 
they fine it. Iron is taken out of the earth, 
and brass is molten out of the stone." 



The tenuous mists are clinging, clinging 

With airy fingers to crag and crest, 
While down the gorges go winging, winging 

The ghost of vapors that never rest; 
Scattered by breeze and drawn by sun, 
Their noiseless journey is never done. 

See where aloft is parting, parting 
A flimsy curtain from height on height! 

The arrowy sun is darting, darting 

His shafts of gold to the summit bright, 

Wide opes the curtain, catch while you may 

A ravishing glimpse of the far away. 

But lo, around me are stealing, stealing, 

Winding me, folding me, gray and chill, 
The wraiths of the mountain, wheeling, wheeling, 

Up from the valley, up from the hill. 
Ah, I fear me their cold caresses, 
But the tears they left on my wind-tossed tresses 
(While fleeing my eyrie with garments torn) 
Are kissed by the sun into gems newborn. 

— A. B. Taylor. 

Above the clouds in the Rockies is a com- 
mon experience to the mountaineer ; but when 
viewed by the stranger for the first time it is 

128 From Mines to Pulpit 

a scene of wonderful splendor. Standing one 
morning, with two others, on the summit of 
Bald Mountain, in Gilpin County, I beheld, 
for the first time, the marching of the clouds. 
The distant peaks were dancing in the sun- 
light; the tall pines were bending to the 
breeze. There was a feeling of wildness in 
the air, as if somewhere behind the distant 
peaks, in the deep ravines, the powers of the 
elements were holding a council of war. 
Later, banks of clouds, unlike the soft, fleecy 
clouds that float lazily across the blue Col- 
orado sky, began to appear in the distance. 
They were dense and heavy, and were plung- 
ing and tossing as if hurried on by some un- 
seen power. Nearer and nearer they came. 
Mountain after mountain disappeared from 
view as completely as if swallowed by an 
earthquake. Here and there could be seen a 
peak which looked like the hull of a stranded 
vessel, tossed on the bosom of a mighty ocean. 
On, on, rearing and pitching, yet as noiseless 
and silent as death, they struck the base of 
the mountain on which we stood; now up the 
side of the mountain they rolled, until the 
next instant we were engulfed in a sea of 
clouds. A few moments ago we could scan 
the mountain peaks for miles around; now 

Above the Clouds 129 

we could not see one another a few feet dis- 
tant. We groped our way down the mountain 
side ; when suddenly we emerged from the 
clouds, and, sitting down, we watched them 
rolling and tossing in their onward course 
directly above our heads. Since that time I 
have been several times above the clouds ; but 
the grandeur of that experience surpassed all 

Up to this time my knowledge of the Rockies 
had been confined to three or four counties; 
but eventually I was permitted to see more 
of this majestic scenery. In 1885 I was 
whirled through the winding passages, deep 
gorges, long tunnels, and bewitching scenery 
of the Denver and South Park. The fol- 
lowing beautiful and true pen picture, taken 
from "South Park and Alpine Pass,"* can 
best portray this trip: 

"At the summit of the Pass is Alpine Tun- 
nel, the highest railway tunnel in the world, 
and the 'highest railway point in North 
America/ At an altitude of 11,660 feet the 
dome of the continent is here reached, and 
thence to Gunnison the flight is downward. 
The train is now on the Pacific Slope. The 

* By kind permission of the Colorado and Southern Rail- 
way Company. 


130 From Mines to Pulpit 

Palisades are at hand. The scene is of such 
transcendant and noble beauty that it would 
be sacrilege to pass by without stopping. On 
one side a mighty wall of stone, along the 
face of which a narrow shelf has been blasted 
to make room for the railway track; on the 
other, an enchanting valley, whose farther 
limits no eye, except the eye of Omnipotence, 
can penetrate. In the presence of this majestic 
scene, is it any wonder that our party, as if 
by one common impulse, gathered on the edge 
of the fathomless precipice and united in that 
grandest of all hymns, 'Nearer, my God, to 
thee?' Hats were removed, and there was 
not a dry eye in the assemblage when the last 
notes died away. The scene is one of the 
grand panoramas of the earth. Once wit- 
nessed, it is never forgotten. 

"From the Palisades to Pitkin, a distance 
of barely thirteen miles, the little train de- 
scends more than 2,600 feet, and from the 
track on the rocky ledge to the track to be 
seen so far below, the fall is nearly 1,800 feet, 
and the distance to be traversed by rail about 
nine miles. 

"Approaching South Park, the best position 
is on the side of the train looking from the 
steep hill, whose rugged sides the engine trem- 

Above the Clouds 131 

blingly begins to surmount. The gradual ap- 
proach to the dizzy point above and far ahead 
seems to require a long time. On the way 
few persons have the hardihood to take more 
than a single glance down the side of the 
mighty precipice at the left of the railway 
track. Down, down, down ! A thousand feet 
in sheer perpendicular! The breaking of a 
wheel, the loosening of a joint, the failure of 
the locomotive to attain the summit, and death 
apparently yawns below. Nerves are wrought 
to the highest tension. All the misdeeds of 
life pass before the mind in such a moment. 
Existence seems to hang on a thread, and for 
once, at least, the insignificance of human am- 
bition is indelibly impressed upon the mind. 
The traveler may be assured, however, that 
there will be no accident. During the fifteen 
years that the railway has been in operation 
not a single mishap has occurred on Kenosha 

"Then comes the elysium. Imagine a vast 
ocean of many colors, hemmed in as far as 
the eye can reach by walls of mighty moun- 
tain peaks, whose crests seem lost in eternal 
blue or are bathed in sunlight and shadow. On 
one side, the main range of the continent; on 
the other, a rim of toothlike summits, whose 

132 From Mines to Pulpit 

edges for one hundred miles are as clearly 
defined as if chiseled out of steel by the hand 
of a giant. Beyond the rim, to the southeast, 
the hoary head of Pike's Peak stands silent 
sentinel. On the west rears the proud summit 
of Mount Lincoln. The writer can not for- 
bear quoting from an eloquent description of 
this mountain by Judge Stone, as the scene 
applies with almost equal force from the top 
of Kenosha Pass: 

" 'Few ever die having beheld so magnificent 
a prospect as is seen from the summit of Mount 
Lincoln. Colorado is spread out at your feet. 
The South Park, sixty miles long and thirty 
miles wide, with its undulating hills, green 
meadows, and thousand glittering lakes and 
brooks, dwindles to a pleasure garden. You 
look over Long's Peak, north, almost into 
Dakota. You look over the Spanish peaks 
south into New Mexico; and turning to the 
east, your vision wanders over Pike's Peak, 
where the great plains spread out like an 
emerald ocean.' 

"The following extract is from the report 
of Dr. F. D. Hayden, of the United States 
Geological Survey, who ascended the moun- 
tain twenty-five years ago : 

" 'The view from the summit of Mount Lin- 

Above the Clouds 133 

coin is wonderful in its extent. From the top 
of this mountain more than fifty peaks, rising 
to the elevation of thirteen thousand feet and 
upwards, and above two hundred over twelve 
thousand feet, can be seen. Probably there is 
no portion of the world accessible to the trav- 
eling public where such a wilderness of lofty 
peaks can be seen within a single scope of the 

"South Park was so named by the Spanish 
adventurers of perhaps two or three centuries 
ago, who wandered into the enchanted circle 
in search of gold and beaver skins. Later 
came the voyageurs and hunters of the great 
fur companies, who found the park teeming 
with buffalo, deer, antelope, and every variety 
of small game known in the mountains. The 
park, as late as 1865, was a paradise for 
hunters. Lieutenant Zebulon Pike crossed the 
eastern edge of the park in 1807, on the cele- 
brated expedition which gave Pike's Peak its 
name. Just before the Mexican War, Colonel 
John C. Fremont, at the head of a hardy 
party of plainsmen and mountaineers, entered 
the park by way of Kenosha Creek, where the 
line of the railway now runs, and built a stone 
fortress on an island, which may still be seen 
at a distance of four or five miles from the 

134 From Mines to Pulpit 

railway, in the northeast end of the park. Fre- 
mont's Fort is a historic relic which should 
be carefully preserved as one of the attrac- 
tions of Colorado. Bayard Taylor, Schuyler 
Colfax, Samuel Bowles, Helen Hunt, and 
other persons of National reputation who 
might be named by the score, were attracted 
to the region by the beauty of the scenery, and 
have left descriptions of the park which will 
be read as long as the English language is 
spoken. Bierstadt, Frankenstein, and great 
painters of Europe and America, have given 
to the world the results of a careful study of 
the wonderful scenic effects of high altitudes 
in South Park. At an elevation of nine thou- 
sand feet, with mountains towering six thou- 
sand feet higher, protected from the chilly 
blasts of the North and the hot winds of the 
South, the park has a climate distinctly its 
own, and a clearness of atmosphere which is 
not duplicated in any other mountain region.' ' 
But here again, among these crags and 
peaks, which are frequently above the clouds, 
nature did something more than to make beau- 
tiful scenery. Millions of dollars of gold have 
been gathered from the region of South Park. 
On the northeast portion of Mount Bross, one 

Above the Clouds 135 

of the peaks bordering the park, is located 
the celebrated Moose mine. It is stated that 
within five years this mine alone produced 
over three millions of dollars. It is further 
stated, by experts, that the mountains sur- 
rounding the park are a vast deposit of gold 
and other precious metals, which will furnish 
occupation to miners for centuries to come. 

This chapter would be incomplete without 
a description of Pike's Peak, called by many 
"The King of the Rockies." Although I have 
seen Pike's Peak several times, and was once 
at its base, it was never my privilege to mount 
its summit. The following beautiful descrip- 
tion is taken from the "Tourist's Handbook," 
and, I am told by those who have made the 
ascent, vividly portrays the matchless scene : 

"As the ascent is made, many opportunities 
are given for exquisite views of the world be- 
low, through vistas in the trees, with the 
eastern plains glowing in the sunshine, and 
extending as far as the vision reaches, and 
limited only by the blue horizon's verge. About 
half way up the mountain, and directly on the 
line of the railway, reached also by the trail, 
lies the Half-way House. When the head- 
waters of Ruxton Creek are reached, the road 


From Mines to Pulpit 

curves to the southwest, and Windypoint is 
attained. From here one has a distinct view 
of Manitou, Colorado City, and Colorado 
Springs. The Cathedral Spires and the Great 
Gateway of the Garden of the Gods appear 
like the castles set by the giants for a stu- 
pendous game of chess. We are now far above 
timber line. On all sides can be seen strange 
flowers of lovely forms and varied hues. 
Plants which attain considerable proportions 
on the plains are here reduced to their lowest 
terms. It is not an unusual thing to find a 
sunflower stalk on the prairies rising to a 
height of from eight to ten feet; here they 
grow like dandelions in the grass, yet retain- 
ing all their characteristics of form and color. 
Beyond this mountain meadow are great fields 
of disintegrated granite, broken cubes of pink 
rock, so vast in extent that they might well 
be the ruins of the ancient cities in the world. 
Far below flash the waters of Lake Morain, 
and beyond, to the southward, lie the Seven 
Lakes. Another turn of the track to the north- 
ward, and the shining rails stretch almost 
straight up what appears to be an inaccessible 
wall of precipitous granite. But no physical 
obstruction is formidable enough to stop the 
progress of this marvelous railway ; and, pass- 

Above the Clouds 137 

ing the yawning abyss of the crater, the line 
proceeds direct to the summit. The grade 
here is one of twenty-five per cent, and timid 
passengers will not escape a thrill of fear as 
they gaze over the brink of this precipice, al- 
though the danger is absolutely nothing. At 
last the summit is reached, and, disembark- 
ing, the tourists can seek refreshments in the 
hotel, and then spend the time before the train 
returns enjoying the view and in rambling 
over the seventy acres of broken granite which 
form the summit. 

"Pike's Peak has long been an object of ad- 
miration to the world, because of its com- 
manding position and the glamour thrown 
around it by history and tradition. Authors 
have expended all their skill in describing it, 
and poets have sung its praise. Among the 
more recent poetical tributes to this monarch 
of the range is the following sonnet by Pro- 
fessor William H. Tibbals: 

" i Into the boundless air so thin and cold, 
Far up above the line of living green, 
Rises thy granite peak, gray, grand, serene. 

Thy seamed sides, all broken, rugged, bold, 

Speak of volcanic ages yet untold, 
And tow'ring high through riven clouds is seen 
Thy summit glistening in the sunlight sheen, 

All undisturbed by storms that thee unfold. 

138 From Mines to Pulpit 

The morning sun gilds first thy top. His last 
Ray fires thy crest — an oriflamme it seems, 
"While shadows deepen over vale and plain. 

In thy deep chasms th' eternal snows held fast 
Keep ever fresh and full the living streams, 
That in cascades now fall and fall again.' 

The majesty of greatness and the mystery 
of minuteness are here brought face to face. 
The thoughtful mind is awed by the contem- 
plation of this scene, and when the reflection 
comes that these great spaces are but grains 
of sand on an infinite shore of creation, and 
that there are worlds of beauty as vast and 
varied between the tiny flowers and the re- 
searches of the microscope as those which 
exist on an ascending scale between the flowers 
and the great globe itself, the mind is over- 
whelmed with wonder and admiration/' 

Three times it was my privilege to go 
through the "Grand Canon of the Arkansas/' 
and each time the scenery seemed to grow 
in magnificence and splendor. At the place 
known as the Royal Gorge the walls rise for 
thousands of feet in sheer perpendicular, re- 
vealing a thin rib of light at their lofty sum- 
mits, while down in the bed of the canon 
dwells a somber gloom which has never been 
disturbed by the penetrating rays of the sun. 

Above the Clouds 139 

Fully as much, or even more, can be said 
of "Canon of the Grand/' through whose 
deep recesses I was twice carried. In this 
canon are mountains piled upon mountains, 
battlements upon battlements, towering away 
into the limitless space, overhanging, frown- 
ing as if indignant that frail men should dare 
enter their domain. As one gazes on the 
jagged peaks thousands of feet above, he can 
scarcely be convinced that they are not slip- 
ping from their moorings and will fall through 

Then there is the "Black Canon"— the Grand 
Canon of the Gunnison — through which it 
was also my privilege to pass. Men who have 
traveled the world over have declared that at no 
place is the scenery more beautiful, imposing, 
sublime, and awful. Great piles of God's solid 
masonry rise until their tiny peaks tremble 
in the thin air. The great "Currecanti 
Needle," standing in the center of the canon, 
its needle point piercing the clouds, looks like 
a mighty cathedral spire in the temple of God's 
creation, demanding the worship and adora- 
tion of all his creatures. 

Any attempt to picture, in words, the ma- 
jestic scenery of the Rocky Mountains must 

140 From Mines to Pulpit 

be regarded as very imperfect ; it must be seen 
in order to be fully appreciated. There are 
numerous peaks, ranges, canons, and parks, 
all possessing natural beauties far beyond the 
power of description. It will ever be true of 
the Rocky Mountains— "the half has never 
been told." 



Labor is health ! Lo ! the husbandman reaping, 
How through his veins goes the life-current leaping 
How his strong arm in his stalwart pride sweeping, 

True as a sunbeam the swift sickle glides. 
Labor is wealth — in the sea the pearl groweth ; 
Rich the queen's robe from the frail cocoon floweth ; 
From the fine acorn the strong forest bloweth; 

Temple and statue the marble block hides. 

Droop not, though shame, sin, and anguish are around 
thee ; 

Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound thee ; 
Look to yon pure heaven smiling beyond thee : 

Rest not content in thy darkness — a clod ! 
Work for some good, be it ever so slowly; 
Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly ; 
Labor ! — all labor is noble and holy ; 

Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God. 

Soon after arriving at Central City, I went 
to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and pre- 
sented my certificate of membership, brought 
from England. For a few weeks everything 
went well; then there was a change. I be- 
came indifferent as regards my religious du- 
ties, and slowly drifted from the path of duty, 

142 From Mines to Pulpit 

remaining for two long years in religious in- 
activity. I know not how to account for this, 
unless it was the tide of worldliness which 
swept over my soul in the search for wealth. 
As I view it now, I think God was gracious 
in not granting my worldly desires; for, had 
riches increased, I might have neglected his 
Word altogether. Since then I have used the 
prayer of Agur, "Give me neither poverty nor 
riches ; feed me with food convenient for me ; 
lest I be full, and deny thee." During these 
two years I had wandered over several coun- 
ties seeking wealth, but found it not. On the 
contrary, I found much poverty and hardship. 
One winter caught me many miles away from 
civilization, in the fastnesses of the mountains, 
with only a tent for shelter, and the ther- 
mometer registering far below the zero mark. 
It was here that I came to myself. I feel it 
my duty to state, for the encouragement of 
praying mothers, that nothing but my mother's 
prayers and holy life saved me from ruin dur- 
ing that period. The poet struck the right 
chord when he said: 

"And though you wander far in sin, 
Still true her heart shall beat ; 
And even there your mother's prayer 
Shall tangle round your feet." 



It made no difference where I was — in the 
mine, the mill, or on the mountain-side, her 
saintly form was ever before me, her godly 
counsel ringing in my ears. And so it hap- 
pened, that on one cold winter day I was 
awakened, and said, like the prodigal of old, 
"I will arise and go to my Father." At this 
time I was hundreds of miles from Central 
City, which I considered my home, but de- 
cided to return immediately, and began the 
journey the next day. I need not recount 
the hardships endured on the trip ; let it suffice 
to say that I reached Central City richer in 
experience, and as poor in purse as when I 
first landed fresh from the old country, save 
that, in addition to my poverty, I was now 
very heavily in debt. 

The first noticeable thing upon my return 
was a gracious revival of religion in the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, under the leadership 
of the pastor, Rev. T. L. Wiltsee. I deter- 
mined to put my new resolutions into prac- 
tice without delay. However, there was much 
in the way, and pride once more had to be 
overcome. My presence at the church caused 
no little surprise, for not many had heard of 
my return. The pastor preached a good 
gospel sermon, a great deal of which suited 

144 From Mines to Pulpit 

my case. The invitation for those who wanted 
to renew their covenant with the Lord also 
suited me, and, going to the altar of prayer, 
I gave myself back to God and to his cause. 
That was a happy night. My plans to acquire 
wealth had been frustrated; but I felt rich in 
my new-found joy. The letters to my parents, 
which had lost the ring of Christian cheer, 
now began once more to tell of the goodness 
and mercy of the Lord. 

It soon became apparent that I must be ac- 
tive in Christian work. Already I had real- 
ized to my sorrow that "from him that hath 
not shall be taken away even that which he 
hath/' I therefore resolved to attend each 
service, and take an active part whenever pos- 
sible. There was sometimes a great tempta- 
tion to remain away from the prayer-meeting. 
After climbing a mile up the steep mountain- 
side, then descending two thousand feet be- 
low the surface, remaining there, hard at work, 
for ten hours, one might reasonably be excused 
from prayer-meeting; but Wednesday even- 
ing almost invariably found me in my place. 
Faithfulness in attending the services, to- 
gether with my willingness to take an active 
part in the same, soon attracted the attention 



of the pastor and Sunday-school superintend- 
ent, and in due time I was assigned to the 
important position of teacher in the Sunday- 
school. I entered into the work with love and 
zeal. I was given a class of boys, one of whom 
was little Willie Prisk, who was drowned in 
a mine, referred to in a previous chapter. It 
was while teaching- this class of boys that my 
old love and fire for preaching the gospel re- 
turned. Each lesson was carefully and prayer- 
fully studied through the week, and every 
Sunday afternoon was a glorious opportunity 
to preach the gospel to my class of boys. 

After a few weeks, my class of boys was 
taken from me and given to another, w T hile 
I was given charge of the primary depart- 
ment, a class of eighty in number, and all under 
ten years of age. I can truly say that never 
have I felt more my responsibility in any 
position held in the Church; no, not even in 
the ministry. Those eighty young hearts were 
receiving religious impressions which would 
remain with them through life, and I was re- 
sponsible, in a great measure, for their relig- 
ious training. 

The next step in the line of promotion was 
that of assistant class-leader; then came the 

146 From Mines to Pulpit 

receiving of an exhorter's license. This was 
cause for great joy, as it was the first actual 
step toward the ministry. 

My faith in the Lord was now to be tried 
in a peculiar manner. Up to this time, since 
my return, I had been working six days in 
the week, using Sunday for rest and worship. 
The mine in which I was engaged had adopted 
the rule of Sunday labor. This meant that 
every man employed in the mine must work 
seven days a week, unless prevented by sick- 
ness or some other just cause. After prayer- 
fully considering the matter, I decided that, 
come what might, I could not observe the rule. 
I resolved to work on until Saturday night, 
and then ask to be excused for the next 
day. This I would do until refused, and then 
resign my position. My request was granted 
the first and second time; the third Saturday 
evening was the test, when, as usual, I asked 
to be excused from work on the following day. 
The foreman wanted to know my reason for 
being excused so often. My answer was given 
in a few well-chosen words, for I had been ex- 
pecting the inquiry. I said: "I am trying to 
live a Christian life,, and am also trying to 
teach others to do the same. Further, I have 
duties in the church, also religious obligations 



which must be discharged on Sunday, hence 
I can not devote the day to manual labor." 
As I expected, he referred to the rule of the 
mine bearing on this question, and stated that 
I must obey it or forfeit my position. I ac- 
cepted the latter proposition without a mo- 
ment's hesitation, and that Saturday evening 
found me once more without employment, al- 
most penniless, and still in debt. 

I did not feel despondent over my gloomy 
situation. I say gloomy situation ; for certainly 
the prospect was not flattering; and the fact 
that there were scores of men looking for work, 
and unable to find it, did not improve it any. 
I made my condition a special subject of prayer 
that night, and felt confident that God would 
lead me, and that in the end I should lose noth- 
ing by taking such a decisive stand. God was 
quick to answer my prayer. Andrew Stevens, 
the superintendent of the California Mine, a 
God-fearing man, upon hearing of my case, 
sent for me and asked if what he had heard 
concerning the giving up of my position were 
true. I told him it was true. He then re- 
quested me to call at the California Mine the 
next morning and be ready for work. This 
was the beginning of better days. With but 
two or three slight interruptions, I remained 

148 From Mines to Pulpit 

in the employ of Mr. Stevens for five years, 
or up to a short time previous to entering the 

As time passed I became more firmly estab- 
lished in the Church, and steadily grew in 
grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. I 
made good use of my exhorter's license, speak- 
ing at every opportunity, and each attempt re- 
minded me of the fact that my education was 
inadequate to the work of the ministry to which 
I was aspiring, and that a better education 
must be acquired before entering upon the 
duties incident to the ministerial life. 

About this time I was deeply impressed by 
a lecture delivered by Chancellor McDowell, 
of the Denver University. In a private con- 
versation with the chancellor after the lecture 
he questioned me as to my plans for the fu- 
ture. I told him it was my intention to preach 
the gospel, and that all my aims and ambitions 
were in that direction. Thereupon he invited 
me to attend the Denver University and better 
prepare myself for the important work. It was 
with regret that I informed him of my financial 
condition and of the impracticability of such a 
method at that time; but I hoped that some 
day the way would be opened for me to take 
the course. 

Hammering 1 49 

The few years spent in school during my 
childhood were of great value to me now. I 
can not remember when I first learned to read, 
and had always taken great delight in books. 
I am frank to confess, however, that my read- 
ing was not always wisely selected, which, un- 
doubtedly, performed no small part in leading 
me away from the path of religious duty. I 
wish I could impress indelibly upon the hearts 
of my young readers that what we read be- 
comes a part of our soul-life just as what we 
eat becomes a part of our bodies. With this 
truth well remembered, no young man or 
woman will select reading matter degrading 
in its nature, but, to the contrary, will wisely 
choose that which is pure and elevating. I 
could also write a fair hand, and knew enough 
arithmetic to do my own business, which, for- 
tunately for my arithmetic's sake, was not very 
great at that time. So, taking all things into 
consideration, I had a better beginning than 
many others whom I had known who had 
pressed forward and attained success. 

My greatest difficulty was with pronuncia- 
tion. Having been born and reared in a 
country where dialects are numerous and diffi- 
cult to understand, I could not escape this evil. 
To overcome the dialect peculiar to Cornish- 

I^O From Mines to Pulpit 

men, which had been my chief method of con- 
versation for twenty-three years, was no easy 
task. Perhaps I should mention here that 
in many places in the West, where whole settle- 
ments are composed of men from the same 
place, the same dialect is used as in the old 
country. Many men, after being in America 
twenty or thirty years, make little or no ad- 
vancement in their method of conversation. 
Working every day with men who invariably 
used the old Cornish dialect did not make my 
task to overcome it any easier. Yet resolutely 
I set myself against this lifelong habit, with 
a determination to succeed. I soon discovered 
that it was a stupendous undertaking, one that 
would require years of patient toil. I made it 
a rule to use invariably the best language at 
my command, whether at work or on the 
street. Naturally, when my aspirations became 
known to them, I was ridiculed by my fellow- 
laborers, and many taunts and jeers came my 
way, which only spurred me to a greater de- 
termination to conquer. It was at this time 
that I received the title of Doctor (D. D.), de- 
risively bestowed upon me by my comrades, 
and which, perhaps is the only distinguished 
title I shall ever have. Yet, like some of my 
brethren in the ministry, I have not given up 


all hope, and if by no other method, I may yet 
obtain it in the same manner as many of them 
have done, and which Dr. Mason, of our 
Church, interprets as "D. D. — Donated Dig- 
nity/' My progress was greater than I had 
ever imagined it could possibly have been, and, 
as the months wore on into years, it was al- 
most impossible to detect even the slightest 
sign of the dialect which had been my only 
method of conversing for over twenty-three 
years. But it was the everlasting hammering 
that did it. I have yet in my possession the 
marked and ore-stained copy of Reed and Kel- 
logg's Grammar which was for years my daily 
companion in the mine. I was accustomed to 
cut a niche in the rocky wall to hold the book, 
and, while hammering the drill, would at the 
same time hammer out the various parts of 
speech and their relations to each other. Not 
only is this true with regard to grammar, but 
it was the same with respect to other studies 
necessary to prepare me for future life. Les- 
sons were prepared in the evening or early 
morning to be mastered through the day ; and 
even to-day I can hear the ring of the hammer 
as lesson after lesson was being pounded into 
my brain. 

Combined with this kind of study was a little 

152 From Mines to Pulpit 

practical work in the line of preaching; for 
meantime I had received a local preacher's 
license, and made regular trips to Russell 
Gulch, a village three miles from Central City, 
and at that time a part of the Central City 
Charge. While this meant additional work, it 
was just the kind of drill I needed. I am again 
willing to confess that my efforts were indeed 
very weak, but each invitation was seized as 
another opportunity to improve. 

It became apparent to myself, and also to 
my friends, that I was making advancement. 
But little did my friends know at how great 
cost and sacrifice this progress was bought. 
They did not know that nearly every night 
found me studying long after they had retired, 
and that frequently two hours were spent be- 
fore breakfast, which had to be eaten at six 
in order to be at the mine at seven, and also 
that each day a lesson was taken into the mine 
to be mastered before the evening; but such 
was the case. This extra study, besides work- 
ing ten hours each day in the mine, was for a 
long time kept up incessantly; but there is a 
limit to human endurance, and, notwithstand- 
ing my rugged constitution, I reached the limit. 
I was compelled to cease from both daily labor 



and study, and to retreat into the valleys and 
foothills for a few weeks, which change ulti- 
mately had the desired effect, and I returned 
to my former position to continue the hammer- 
ing process of study. 



I^et not thy good hope depart, 

Sit not down bewailing; 
Rouse thy strength anew, brave heart ! 

'Neath despair's assailing: 
This will give thee fairer start — 

Knowledge of thy failing. 

—J. K. Lombard. 

Under the pastoral care of Rev. T. L. 
Wiltsee I had risen from obscurity to an official 
position in the Church. I shall ever be grate- 
ful for his kind care and advice, which were 
always freely given to help me in my struggles. 
I had learned to confide in him, and found in 
him such a true friend that it brought great 
sorrow to my heart when the news came from 
the Annual Conference informing us of his 
transfer to another charge. I am also greatly 
indebted to Rev. F. S. Beggs and his faithful 
wife, who took a special interest in my behalf 
during their stay at Central City, not even giv- 
ing me up after they left the charge, but writ- 
ing encouraging letters to cheer me on in my 
arduous task. 


Tried and Found Wanting 155 

About this time the Rev. A. L. T. Ewert 
came to serve our Church. From the begin- 
ning he became my personal friend, rendering 
me great service in the prosecution of my 
studies and in drilling me in the ways of the 
ministerial life. He also believed in the "push- 
ing-out" process, as he called it, sometimes 
giving me his Sunday morning service, while 
he would sit in the audience as a severe, yet 
kind critic. At other times he would call upon 
me to exhort, after the evening sermon, with- 
out a moment's warning. At first I thought 
this very unfair ; but, being assured that it was 
for my good, I responded whenever called, al- 
though sometimes with trembling voice and 
limbs. This kind of treatment gave me the 
courage and boldness necessary to stand be- 
fore a large audience, and, at the same time, 
to hold my thoughts without being frightened. 
I am to-day reaping the benefit of this excel- 
lent drill given by this kind and loving man. 
I feel, therefore, that I should sadly neglect 
my duty should I fail to acknowledge my grati- 
tude to this true friend and brother, Rev. A. 
L. T. Ewert, for the interest which he took 
in my welfare, taking me, as he did, under his 
special care, calling me his "son in the min- 
istry/' and providing me with books which 

156 From Mines to Pulpit 

have to-day a prominent place in my library. 
May our Heavenly Father continue to bless 
him in his work of love ! At this writing Rev. 
Mr. Ewert is pastor of Centenary Church, 
Jacksonville, 111., a great educational and re- 
ligious center. 

Calling me into his study one day, my pas- 
tor greatly surprised me by asking me to take 
charge of a circuit. Although I had been look- 
ing forward with great anticipation to the time 
when I should enter the active work of the 
ministry, I was not prepared for this, and did 
not consider myself ready to take the work. 
The Jamestown Circuit was the charge in ques- 
tion. At the previous session of the Annual 
Conference it was left to be supplied. Rev. 
Mr. Ewert had given my name to the presiding 
elder for the place, and had received word to 
send me to take charge of the circuit. This 
was all done without consulting me, my pastor 
thinking it was best for me to know nothing 
about it until the arrangements had been com- 
pleted. I was so completely surprised that I 
asked for a day or two in which to consider 
the matter. After spending some time in 
prayer and careful consideration, I decided to 
go and look over the work and try it for a 
few weeks. 

Tried and Found Wanting 157 

Packing my few personal effects in my 
trunk, I started for Jamestown, the head of the 
circuit. Brother Harrison, the leader at 
- Jamestown, greeted me very cordially, but said 
he was sorry to inform me that the outlook for 
a good beginning was not very encouraging. 
I learned that my predecessor was not a regular 
minister, but a local preacher, who followed his 
calling as a miner, and devoted his spare time 
and Sundays to the work of the circuit ; also, 
that he was very much displeased with the 
action of the presiding elder in taking the cir- 
cuit from him and giving it to another. I 
could, therefore, expect no help or sympathy 
from him, he having resolved to have nothing 
to do with the new preacher, save, as I dis- 
covered a little later, to work against him. 
Brother Harrison prepared me for this by tell- 
ing me that a service had been announced in 
the Town Hall for the same hour as my service 
in the church, to be conducted by the former 
pastor. On Saturday I visited every house in 
the village, and invited the people to attend 
the Church services the next evening at the 
regular preaching hour. It was at this service 
that both my faith and courage were tried. I 
had preached at two of the other appointments 
on the circuit during the day, and found but 

158 From Mines to Pulpit 

little to inspire me in the work; and, besides, 
I was wearied from my trip of several miles 
across the mountains on horseback, an experi- 
ence entirely new to me. So, altogether, I was 
in no condition, physically or mentally, to meet 
the surprise that awaited me. A large con- 
gregation that night would have helped me 
wonderfully, and I had expected at least a 
fair representation of the community on my 
first appearance as pastor of the Church. But 
imagine my consternation and dismay when I 
met my first congregation in Jamestown com- 
posed of two men, one woman, and two small 
children. It was painfully evident that my 
predecessor had succeeded in winning a large 
majority of the people over on his side by 
making them believe that he had been treated 
unjustly. I told the few who were present 
that I was there to preach, and if they would 
remain I would do so. They consented, and 
the service was conducted in the regular order. 
After the sermon, Brother Harrison spoke en- 
couraging words, hoping for better things in 
the future. It was just the right message, for 
I doubt very much if ever there was a "young 
preacher" who needed encouragement more 
than I did at that time. 

The next Sunday the other points on the 

Tried and Found Wanting 159 

circuit were visited, and I was in a position 
to form an opinion of the charge, which, from 
my point of view, was not a favorable one. 
Hence, it did not take me long to reach the 
conclusion that I was not the man for the 
place, since, with my lack of experience, I 
could not bring order out of chaos. Acting on 
this impulse, I wrote the presiding elder, at 
the same time tendering my resignation, and, 
without even waiting for an answer, returned 
to Central City. Rev. Mr. Ewert remonstrated 
with me, insisting that I return and take up the 
work where I had left off. He cited me to a 
similar instance which happened at the com- 
mencement of his ministry. But no argument 
brought to bear could induce me to return to 
the Jamestown Circuit. 

The short experience on the circuit, how- 
ever, had given me an insight into and a small 
taste of ministerial life, and also taught me 
that I lacked many requisites necessary for the 
successful work of the ministry. Among other 
things, I felt the need of a more entire conse- 
cration to endure hardness as a good soldier of 
the cross of Christ; also, the need of greater 
preparation along various educational lines. 
I did not look upon my failure as a defeat, but 
as a revelation showing me my unprepared con- 

160 From Mines to Pulpit 

dition for so great and important a work. I 
once more took up my daily routine as a miner, 
and once more entered upon my studies, hop- 
ing that some time in the future I might be 
fitted for the work of the ministry and success- 
fully perform the duties of the same. 



'T was you who made me own the Hand 

That's working all along, 
In ways we can not understand, 

Still bringing right from wrong, 
You've kept me brave, and kept me true; 

You 've made me trust and pray ; 
My gentle evening star were you, 
That blessed the close of day. 

Place your hand in mine, wife — 
We 've loved each other true ; 
And still, in shade or shine, wife, 
There 's love to help us through. 

In 1891 I decided to leave Central City. For 
a long time I had had a desire to visit Aspen, 
in Pitkin County, and the 15th day of Oc- 
tober, of the above year, found me in that city. 
There were several people in Aspen whom I 
had formerly known in Central City. Among 
them was a Mrs. Tippett, with whom I used to 
board, and I found no difficulty in again secur- 
ing board with her. My past experience 
prompted me to seek the church at the first 
opportunity, which I did on the same evening 
11 161 

1 62 From Mines to Pulpit 

of my arrival in company with a young man 
who was a member of our Church here. 
There was no regular service, but, being the 
time for choir practice, it presented a good 
opportunity to see the church that was to be 
my spiritual home while I remained in the 
city. As we approached, strains of music, 
mingled with the voices of many singers, 
floated out on the evening air. Quietly step- 
ping inside and slipping into a rear seat, we 
remained for some time looking at the church 
and listening to the singing. Suddenly my 
eyes became riveted on one of the singers. Her 
face looked familiar, yet I was positive that 
I had never before seen her. What did it 
mean ! Had I been led to Aspen for this mo- 
ment? The voice of my soul answered yes. 

I entered heartily into the work of the 
Church, and thus came in close contact with 
Miss Lee, the young woman that had so favor- 
ably impressed me, who was a zealous worker, 
and whose companionship I found to be very 
agreeable. Somehow, it was not difficult for 
us to become acquainted, and in a few weeks 
we were friends. Rev. Mr. Carnine, the pastor, 
was pleased to receive me as a local preacher, 
and straightway pressed me into active service. 
He was a new man on the charge, and, finding 

"Struck it Rich" at Last 163 

the spiritual life of the Church at a very low 
ebb, was now rallying his members for the 
winter's campaign. One Sunday evening, 
while the pastor was earnestly presenting the 
truth, in approval of a statement made in the 
sermon, and forgetting for a moment that I 
was in a strange place, I heartily responded 
by saying, loud enough to be heard all over 
the Church, "Amen." The preacher paused in 
his sermon, and, turning to me, said: "God 
bless you, young man ! Amens are worth five 
dollars apiece in this church." That winter the 
Church was blessed with the greatest revival 
in its history. Many souls were converted and 
large additions made to the Church. 

Fortune seemed to favor me, since Miss Lee 
proved to be just the help I needed in my 
studies. She was at this time a teacher in the 
Aspen public schools, and offered to give me, 
freely, such help as was within her power. To 
make matters still better, a necessary change in 
my boarding-place led me to take rooms at the 
same house with Miss Lee, the home of her 
cousin. Thus we were enabled to prosecute 
our studies in the evenings, much to our mu- 
tual enjoyment. I can not tell exactly how 
it all came about, but before the spring rolled 
around we had entered into a contract to share 

164 From Mines to Pulpit 

each other's joys and sorrows through life. 
We parted in the spring to meet again the fol- 
lowing August, this time in Huntington, Ind., 
at the home of Miss Lee's parents, where, on 
the eleventh day of the same month, and in the 
year of 1892, we were united in marriage. On 
that day I came into the possession of a rich 
mine of knowledge, and love, which has con- 
tinued to yield untold wealth through the years ; 
for I do not hesitate to say that the help and 
influence of Laura Lee, who then became my 
wife, and who for the past ten years has stood 
faithfully by my side, is responsible, in no small 
degree, for the measure of success we now 

The time seemed now to have fully arrived 
for entering the work of the ministry. Laura, 
as I shall continue to call my wife in this 
sketch, was also very anxious to begin the 
work, as this had been the fond desire of her 
heart. Being thus doubly equipped, I, too, felt 
anxious to try again. The next session of the 
North Indiana Conference would be held in 
the spring. It was this Conference I hoped 
to enter, since we were now living within its 
bounds. I laid the matter before my pastor, 
Rev. F. G. Browne, now assistant editor of 
the Western Christian Advocate, who advised 

"Struck it Rich" at Last 165 

me to prepare for the examination for ad- 
mission on trial into the Conference. I must 
here express my debt of gratitude to him, who, 
like Rev. A. L. T. Ewert, took a special inter- 
est in me, giving me free access to his library, 
helping me to prepare for the examination, and 
using his influence in my behalf, without which 
my admission to the Conference would have 
been very doubtful, if not impossible, as it 
proved to be a year when candidates were 
numerous and "openings" few. 

At the fourth Quarterly Conference of the 
Huntington Charge I was asked the questions 
previous to being recommended for admission 
on trial in the Annual Conference, and, answer- 
ing them to the satisfaction of the members 
of that body, I was duly recommended to the 
North Indiana Conference. 



Study to show thyself approved unto God, a work- 
man that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing 
the word of truth. — 2 Tim. ii, 15. 

The annual session of the North Indiana 
Conference was held at Mishawaka, March 29 
to April 4, 1893, presided over by Bishop I. W. 
Joyce, and was one of the most spiritual in its 
history, there being many conversions and ac- 
cessions to the Church during the session. 
There was a large class up for admission on 
trial. Places were found for fifteen, and I 
was among the number. The time finally came 
for the reading of the appointments. This was 
one of the most interesting periods of the Con- 
ference, since it decided, as far as the Confer- 
ence was concerned, the fate of about two hun- 
dred preachers for the year to come; and to 
none was it more interesting than to myself, 
as I was about to receive my first appointment. 
Fort Wayne District was the first called. Not 
the slightest sound could be heard, save the 

On Trial 


voice of the bishop as he commenced to read 
the appointments. I had not long to wait, 
for I had been assigned to the Fort Wayne 
District. "Coesse, — George Cocking," said the 
bishop, and my case was settled, for the year, 
at least. 

The next few days were spent in packing 
goods and getting things necessary for circuit 
work. It is with a feeling of gratitude that I 
acknowledge the kindness of Dr. W. C. 
Chaffee, of Huntington, who supplied me with 
a cart, almost new, set of harness, and a set 
of Matthew Henry's Commentaries. This act 
of kindness, with many shown by other mem- 
bers and friends of the Huntington Methodist 
Episcopal Church, will never be forgotten. We 
started overland for our new charge, followed 
by two wagons, which contained all our earthly 
possessions. Coesse was reached on the even- 
ing of the same day, it being about twenty 
miles north of Huntington. The parsonage 
was nicely situated on the southwest corner 
of the principal street of the village, over- 
shadowed by several beautiful maple-trees. It 
was a frame building, having served for a par- 
sonage for over thirty years, and, to all ap- 
pearances, had long since crossed the "dead 
line/' and should have been placed on the 

1 68 From Mines to Pulpit 

superannuated UsL This opinion was soon 
very emphatically and vividly confirmed. One 
night, shortly after our arrival, I was lying 
awake in bed listening to the r&in as it dripped 
from the maples on to the roof, at the same 
time thinking and planning for the work of the 
circuit, when suddenly I was struck squarely 
on the face by two big drops. Others came 
down — spat ! spat ! — in quick succession. Pro- 
curing a light, I began to investigate, and 
found the ceiling studded with drops which 
looked like huge diamonds glistening in the 
lamplight. Changing the bed to a position 
where our heads would escape the drops, we 
once more retired for the night. The real ex- 
citement, however, came in the morning, when 
we discovered that the rain had poured in up- 
stairs, passed through a cheap, highly-colored 
ingrain carpet, and finally found its way to the 
front room below. Laura threw up her hands 
in complete consternation at the sight, at the 
same time exclaiming, "My new carpet is 
ruined; my new carpet is ruined !" To make 
matters worse, if such a thing were possible, 
the water, mixed with the dye from the in- 
grain carpet, making it a blood red, was still 
pouring down through the stovepipe hole in 
the floor above. I hastily procured a wash- 

On Trial 


tub, and prevented further ruination in that 
direction. Temporary repairs were made, but 
it was not until the next year that the par- 
sonage was thoroughly renovated and trans- 
formed into a comfortable, modern house. 

The circuit was made up of five points : 
Coesse, situated on the Pennsylvania Railway, 
six miles east of Columbia City, the county-seat 
of Whitley County ; Areola, six miles east of 
Coesse; Lake Chapel, seven miles northeast; 
Town House, or Jefferson, six miles south ; 
and Friendship, thirteen miles southeast. The 
salary was fixed at six hundred dollars, includ- 
ing house rent. We entered upon our new 
duties with a determination to make the year a 
successful one. The people turned out in large 
numbers to hear and see the new preacher. 
A very kind reception was accorded us at each 
point, and the work soon began to move along 
with good prospects. 

The time for revival-meetings finally came. 
This meant at least two weeks, and sometimes 
three, at each point, besides the regular Sun- 
day work of three sermons to as many con- 
gregations. This extra labor, coming at the 
time when the roads, at some points, were al- 
most impassable, made the winter's work any- 
thing but easy. This first winter was, in many 

170 From Mines to Pulpit 

respects, one of the hardest I have experienced 
in the work. This was due largely to the ill- 
ness of our little son, Ezra, who had come to 
bless the parsonage home, which necessitated 
my driving home from the various points after 
the evening service, often reaching home after 
midnight. Notwithstanding the long, cold 
drives and the drenching by the rain and sleet, 
there was much to encourage us. God had 
wonderfully blessed the efforts put forth in 
the conversion of many souls and a gracious 
uplift to the Church. Thus the first year 
passed. At the next session of the Annual 
Conference we were returned to the same 
charge, but served only seven months of the 
Conference year. 

In the spring of 1895 we were assigned to 
the Bobo Circuit, another charge of five points. 
While Bobo is only a small village, situated 
on the Chicago and Erie Railway, five miles 
east of Decatur, in Adams County, it can boast 
of one of the finest country parsonages in the 
Fort Wayne District. This was a very pleas- 
ing feature, especially to Laura; for what 
woman is not proud of a beautiful and com- 
modious home? We found thriving classes at 
each of these points, namely: Mount Tabor, 
which was the home point, situated on the old 

On Trial 


Piqua Road, one mile from the parsonage (a 
magnificent new church has been built since 
only a few rods from the parsonage door) ; 
Pleasant Mills, three miles south of Bobo; 
Steele, known as Salem Class, seven miles 
south; Monroe, nine miles southwest; and 
Washington Class, ten miles west. The people 
at each point greeted us kindly, and pledged 
us their support. Two happy and successful 
years were spent on this charge, which resulted 
in many conversions and additions to the 
Church. It was during this pastorate that I 
again realized the wonderful help I had in my 
wife, who, on several occasions, on account of 
my sickness or inability to be present, filled the 
pulpit, much to the pleasure and satisfaction 
of the people. 

The second year a new church was built at 
Pleasant Mills. When this enterprise was 
started it was thought by some to be an im- 
possibility, but the heroic giving by the mem- 
bers and friends of the Church made it glo- 
riously possible. This charge will also be re- 
membered by the wonderful crops of mud pro- 
duced each winter. At that time there was not 
a foot of gravel road on the whole circuit. 
During the muddy season a buggy could not be 
used. Carts were in great demand, but later 


From Mines to Pulpit 

in the winter they, too, had to be abandoned, 
and horseback riding followed. But even 
horseback riding was sometimes impossible. 
Then I had the privilege of walking in the 
fence corners, until finally, when this became im- 
practicable, I remained at home until the sea of 
mud froze over. I am pleased to state, however, 
for the encouragement of my brethren who 
may be called to serve this charge in the future, 
that these conditions no longer exist, since 
Bobo Circuit can now boast of several miles of 
splendid gravel roads. 

Our assignment in the spring of 1897 was 
to the Hoagland Charge, still another circuit 
of five points, situated on the Grand Rapids 
and Indiana Railway, in Allen County. The 
other points were : Williamsport, five miles 
west of Hoagland; Sheldon, ten miles west; 
Mt. Pleasant, eight miles south; and Alpha, 
nine miles southeast. Here, as at former 
places, we were kindly received, and had the 
hearty support of the people. The year proved 
a very prosperous one ; God honored the efforts 
made in the conversion of souls at each point 
on the circuit. 

Meanwhile I had been admitted to the Con- 
ference as a member, and was now in the last 
year of the studies. The yearly examination 

On Trial 


meant a great deal of additional labor. For 
the information of those who do not know what 
the young preacher must do, I submit a brief 
outline. There were twenty-two text-books to 
be carefully studied, some of them contain- 
ing over five hundred pages, and satisfactory 
grades passed upon each; twenty-three books 
to be read, and a syllabus written on each ; also 
a sermon and an essay each year; and all to 
pass under the critical eyes of the Conference 
examiners. The spring of 1898 found this ar- 
duous task accomplished, and, having received 
deacon's orders two years previously, I was 
now elected to elder's orders, which clothed me 
with full authority to preach the gospel and ad- 
minister the sacraments in the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. This was an occasion for 
thanksgiving and great joy. But the greatest 
joy that came to my heart was in the realiza- 
tion of the dream of my life. I had at last 
fought my way from the mines to the pulpit, 
and hammered success out of the rock. 



Preach the gospel to every creature. — Mark xvi, 15. 

Our pastorate on the Hoagland Charge was 
destined to be very short. At the end of the 
first year, greatly to the surprise of both pas- 
tor and people, we were assigned to the New 
Haven Charge. By this time we had become 
accustomed to "tearing up" and packing, and 
in a few days once more had all our earthly 
possessions loaded on wagons, and were on 
our way to the new field of labor. 

New Haven is only eight miles north of 
Hoagland ; hence, the distance was easily cov- 
ered in less than a day. The town is beauti- 
fully situated, not far from the banks of the 
Maumee River, and only six miles from Fort 
Wayne. The charge was made up of only two 
points, New Haven and Taylor Chapel, four 
and one-half miles northeast. Our reception 
was simliar to those on former charges — 
everything that could be desired. Large con- 
gregations greeted us on the first Sunday and 

In the Pulpit 


pledged us their fidelity, which pledge was 
never broken. This proved to be the best ap- 
pointment we had received, on account of the 
smaller number of points and the good roads 
in this section of the county. We also found 
a good "working" Church, thoroughly organ- 
ized for carrying on the various enterprises 
of the Church. The financial system was a 
perfect success, making the charge, accord- 
ing to the statement of the presiding elder, 
"first in the district." Imagine my surprise 
when, at the end of the first month, the treas- 
urer told me to call at his home the next day 
and receive my salary. This was something 
unusual ? I had been accustomed to wait until 
Quarterly Conference, and then receive what- 
ever *he stewards had been successful in rais- 
ing, which sometimes would fall far short of 
the amount due, the final "pull" being made 
at the end of the year. But, to do justice to 
my former charges, I will state that, with the 
exception of a few classes which fell a little 
short — and these through lack of proper man- 
agement — I have received my salary in full 
at the end of each year, some of the classes 
overpaying their apportionment. I continued 
to draw my salary every month, there being 
money in the treasury all the time, with a bal- 


From Mines to Pulpit 

ance left to begin the new year. At this writ- 
ing (1902) we are closing our fourth year on 
the New Haven Charge, and, with but a few 
exceptions, my salary has been paid before it 
was really due. This method, which was merely 
the taking of subscriptions, through a careful 
canvass of members and friends, at the begin- 
ning of the Conference year, and the obliga- 
tions thus assumed faithfully carried out, can 
be successfully operated by any congregation. 
I may add that through this plan we could 
easily carry out a rule, made when we entered 
on our first charge, not to open an account at 
any store for provisions. In order to keep 
this resolution, we were sometimes compelled 
to do without things which we otherwise might 
have indulged in; but the rule was never 

For the last two years New Haven has been 
a station, and Taylor Chapel has been trans- 
ferred to the Fort Wayne Circuit. The revival 
services of this fourth and last year at New 
Haven resulted in nine conversions and eleven 
accessions to the Church. 

The next move was to Waterloo, in DeKalb 
County, a charge of three points, with Waterloo 
for the center, Barker's Chapel six miles north, 
and Norris Chapel, six miles south. Here, as 

In the Pulpit 


elsewhere, we found loyal people, ready to 
work and sacrifice for the Master's cause. We 
anticipate a glorious pastorate, with many souls 
won for Christ. 

Laura and I are happy in our sphere of 
labor, and, after nine years of arduous work, 
consider ourselves "established" in the work 
of the ministry. 

There remains but little to add. I have ac- 
complished the task I set out to perform; 
namely, to tell the people — the older ones who 
wish to read it, but more especially the young 
people — how I worked my way from the mines 
to the pulpit, or hammered success out of the 
rock. In my present position and standing, as 
a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
I do not lay claim to any superior qualifica- 
tions ; neither do I expect to shine as a "great 
orator" or "eminent divine." My highest aim 
is, by the help of God, to help the struggling 
masses to nobler living, and especially to en- 
courage the thousands of young people who, 
like myself, have been cast forth, with the stern 
truth staring them in the face that, if they are 
to be successful in this life, they must pave 
the way from the pit to the throne; or, if the 
emergency demands it, hammer success out 
of the rock. 

PAR 19 1903